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French Open 2019: Novak Djokovic cruises to second round, Osaka and Serena also advance

Novak Djokovic beat Switzerland's Henri Laaksonen in straight sets to set up a third-round clash against Salvatore Caruso.

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Paris Published on: May 30, 2019 19:54 IST
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Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams advanced to the third round of the French Open.

Novak Djokovic advanced to the third round at Roland Garros with a straight-sets win over Henri Laaksonen. The Serbian tennis star beat Laaksonen 6-1 6-4 6-3 to set up a third round clash against Salvatore Caruso.

Naomi Osaka, meanwhile, is grinding her way through the French Open the hard way.

To cling onto her quest for a third consecutive Grand Slam title, the top-ranked Osaka has twice had to rally from first-set woes.

The latest opponent was former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, beaten 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the second round Thursday in a match with superb shot-making.

The U.S Open and Australian Open champion from Japan, who surprisingly lost a set 6-0 in the first round, again started poorly.

Azarenka, now ranked No. 43 and without a major title since winning the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, raced to a 4-0 lead on Court Suzanne Lenglen and kept Osaka under constant pressure.

Osaka considered herself unfortunate to be drawn against Azarenka and the powerful, accurate tennis produced by the 29-year-old Belarusian playing in her 12th French Open showed why.

Osaka will next play Katerina Siniakova, ranked No. 42, in the third round.

Serena Williams, who faced Osaka in the final of the US Open last year, also cruised to the third round with a 6-3 6-2 win over Kurumi Nara.

Earlier, Dominic Thiem overcame some trickery from Kazakh opponent Alexander Bublik to advance to the third round with a 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-3, 7-5 victory.

Bublik surprised Thiem with an underhand serve in the first set and frustrated the Austrian with a series of drop shots, spins and volleys. But last year's finalist at Roland Garros recovered from a break of serve in the fourth set and then gave Bublik a taste of his own medicine on his first match point, producing a well-disguised — and successful — drop shot.

Thiem will next face Pablo Cuevas, another master of trick shots. Cuevas was leading 7-6 (3), 6-3, 2-1 when Kyle Edmund retired from their match because of a left knee injury.

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