Iga Swiatek dispatches a slick crosscourt backhand to lead 6-3 5-2*.
No matter how this one goes for Eugenie Bouchard, this has been a great tournament for her and she has recovered her form significantly since the tour suspension.
Bouchard had fallen all the way down to #332 in March despite playing a full schedule in 2019. Since tennis returned, she is 10-2 at tour level with a quarter-final in Prague, Istanbul final and now Round 3 at Roland Garros. She will be ranked around ~139 if she loses.
at 6.38am EDT
Over on Court Simonne Mathieu, 2014 Roland Garros semi-finalist Eugenie Bouchard, who received a wildcard into the draw, continues to be up against it versus 19 year-old Iga Swiatek. Swiatek is a huge talent and she now leads 6-3 *4-2.
The Pole has hit 27 winners to Bouchard’s 8.
More importantly, the first game of the second set yielded yet another discussion about ball marks. Casper Ruud stopped the point and pointed to one mark he thought was out, the umpire said it was a different mark that was in. Ruud was seething: “I’ve been playing for 15 years, you don’t think I know a mark, or what?”
It feels like there have been than usual and with them countless discussions about hawk-eye on clay, as the Eurosport commentators just had on-air. It should be noted that the reason it isn’t on clay is because hawk-eye is a simulation that estimates where the ball bounces. The uneven clay surface, which constantly changes as it is swept, is problematic for the system.
There are other electronic line calling systems slowly coming into tennis that follow the real ball bounce and will be helpful on this surface in the future. One called Foxtenn was used at the Rio tournament this year and was supposed to also be used in Madrid.
On Chatrier, the second set starts with a break to Dominic Thiem. He quickly consolidated to lead Casper Ruud 6-4 *2-0 with a lovely backhand volley. There’s a good chance that Thiem has gained some energy from taking the first set while far from his best.
First set stats:
Casper Ruud – 10 winners 16 unforced errors, 52% first serve points won.
Dominic Thiem – 11 winners 17 unforced errors, 52% first serve points won.
The big difference is that Thiem won 60% of points on his second serve. Ruud is not having a good time with that topspin serve to his backhand.
Dominic Thiem finally takes the first set 6-4 on Casper Ruud.
Even that last game from Thiem was quite laboured with ample errors, including a sprayed backhand on the first set point. However, he finished really strongly, finding plenty of forehands before closing with a vicious inside out forehand. A very strong fispump from Thiem after the final point, and for good reason.
In truth, that was unimpressive from Ruud. Thiem was there for the taking and he just could not get it done. Still, good work from Thiem to somehow see his way through.
In British doubles news, 3rd seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury lead Alex de Minaur and Matt Reid 6-3 2-1.
Cameron Norrie and Marton Fucsovics are down 7-6(2) to Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin
On Court Simonne-Mathieu, 19 year-old Iga Swiatek takes the first set 6-4 on Eugenie Bouchard.
3rd seed Elina Svitolina leads Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, but she has lost her serve in the opening game of set two.
Dominic Thiem saves another break point to move ahead 5-3* on Casper Ruud, sealed with a delicate dropshot winner. He saved this break point with style – another whistling backhand down-the-line winner.
Frankly, Ruud has done a poor job of taking advantage of this slow start from Thiem. Not only has he failed to take his opportunities [he is now 1/6 in break points] but he badly failed to build some momentum when he did break. You do not usually get this many chances against Dominic Thiem on clay.
It is also clear in these opening stages that his backhand just isn’t really up to this level right now. He is unsurprisingly having a hard time with Thiem’s kick serve to his backhand and it is breaking down in the longer exchanges.
It was a big game. Dominic Thiem follows up his long hold with a quick break to love to move into the lead against Casper Ruud for the first time today, *4-3.
After long topsy-turvy game, Dominic Thiem saves three break points to hold for 3-3* against Casper Ruud.
It was not easy. From 30-15 up, Thiem threw in two dire forays to the net that ended in volley errors. Ruud had a huge opportunity but he blew it, dumping a routine backhand into the net.
After Thiem wrestled his way to game point, Ruud did well to generate a second break point. This time, it was too good from Thiem, who was dragged from side-to-side by Ruud’s forehand before crunching a searing point-ending backhand down-the-line from miles behind the baseline.
Facing a third break point, this time Thiem refused to be pushed back, directing traffic before injecting pace into an excellent forehand. Shortly after, he held. That could be a big game.
This is what Dominic Thiem had to say about his physical condition after his three set win over Jack Sock:
Q. How are you feeling, how your legs are holding up after the US Open? Some players have had some trouble, especially on the women’s side. How do you see the tournament going longer and deeper?
DOMINIC THIEM: I feel pretty good, to be honest. I mean, not perfectly perfect. I guess that’s normal. I think the main thing is that I fight 100% like I did today. I mean, it paid off. I was saving three set points to avoid a fourth set. That’s very important in the early rounds, to save energy, to play as less sets as possible. That’s good. Generally I’m feeling pretty good. I’m still a little bit on the happy wave of New York, I would say. Of course, at one point I’m going to get super tired. I guess all the tension and focus on Roland Garros, it’s hiding still the tiredness and everything. I hope I can push it as far as I can.
This has been a strange start on Chatrier. From 40-0 up at 1-2, Dominic Thiem gave up his serve with a series of unforced errors. Between points, Thiem, one of the fittest players in the world, already looked quite gassed and he was breathing heavily.
As quickly as Thiem lost his serve, he broke back after some sloppy errors from Ruud to open his own service game. Some great work on Thiem on the break point though, ending a physical point with a weighty inside out forehand. Thiem *2-3 Ruud.
This is a very big day for 21 year-old Casper Ruud, who has risen from outside of the top 100 to his current ranking of 25. His record on clay this year:
Buenos Aires W
Roland Garros R3
Win-Loss: 17-4 (81%)
Ruud’s biggest strength is his relentless consistency, his durability and an extremely heavy topspin forehand that he uses to push opponents back, outmaneuver and grind them down. He has had great success at lower events and the big question is what he can do against the best.
Hello! Welcome to day 6 of our Roland Garros coverage as the tournament moves on to the third round. This will be some third round and there are many matches to keep an eye on. It has been raining in Paris this morning so play was briefly delayed on the outside courts and the roof is being used on Chatrier. US Open champion Dominic Thiem starts things off under the roof and he may well get his first test of the tournament as he takes on 21 year-old Norwegian Casper Ruud, who has been one of the breakout players on clay this season.
Immediately after, we will have a redux of last year’s stunning quarterfinal when 17 year-old Amanda Anisimova beat defending champion Simona Halep to reach the 2019 semi-final. Both players return under completely different circumstances, but both are playing well so it will be fascinating. Home favourite and former top 5 player Caroline Garcia will follow as she takes on Elise Mertens of France. Rafael Nadal will close Philippe Chatrier as he looks to continue his leisurely route through. Here is the schedule on singles courts today:
Court Philippe Chatrier Casper Ruud vs  Dominic Thiem  Simona Halep vs  Amanda Anisimova
Caroline Garcia vs  Elise Mertens
Stefano Travaglia vs  Rafael Nadal
Court Suzanne Lenglen Elina Svitolina vs  Ekaterina Alexandrova  Stan Wawrinka vs Hugo Gaston  Alexander Zverev vs Marco Cecchinato
Katerina Siniakova vs  Kiki Bertens
Eugenie Bouchard vs Iga Swiatek
Lorenzo Sonego  Taylor Fritz
Norbert Gombos vs  Diego Schwartzman
Martina Trevisan vs  Maria Sakkari
M. Fucsovics/C.Norrie vs  J.Chardy/F. Martin
Anna Karolina Scmiedlova vs Nadia Podoroska
Federico Coria vs Jannik Sinner
PH.Herbert/N.Mahut vs V. Pospisil/J.Sock
Court 7 J.Peers/M.Venus vs F.Nielsen/T.Puetz
Martinez vs Korda
Krejcikova vs Pironkova A.Krajicek/F.Skugor vs P.Cuevas/F.Lopez