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Osaka stages second Houdini act at Roland Garros

Osaka stages second Houdini act at Roland Garros

Top seed Naomi Osaka admitted that a 10-minute toilet break by Victoria Azarenka helped her to a second successive Roland Garros great escape on Thursday.

They would play for more than 1½ additional hours, and Azarenka certainly had opportunities to edge even farther ahead, such as when she had a break point to go up 5-2 and serve for the victory but netted a forehand.

"I was lucky enough to play her (Azarenka) twice before this and I knew she was playing really well", said Osaka.

Former No.1 Azarenka broke in the seventh game after saving a match point but Osaka wrapped up matters on her next service game on third match point after 2 hours 50 minutes.

Osaka did well to bring both parents to Paris this time around as she's safely through to the third round after two three-set battles.

The No. 1-seeded Osaka got off to a bad start at the French Open again, never masking her frustration. "She kind of killed me in the first set".

However, in the roller-coaster match, Azarenka cut the deficit to 5-3, saving two match points in the process. She eventually defeated Anna Karolína Schmiedlová in three sets.

Elsewhere in the men's second round, the ninth seed Fabio Fognini advanced and the eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro needed five sets to dispose of Yoshihito Nishioka.

The three-time women's champion Williams was at first frustrated by 238th-ranked qualifier Nara, especially in the sixth game, which went to deuce 10 times and saw Williams miss six break points. "I am a very emotional person", Osaka said as she explained how she nearly allowed Azarenka back into the tie.

"It was a really long match and I was super upset in the locker room, Serena actually came up to me and we shared a little bit of a chat".




No.1 seed Naomi Osaka has played Katerina Siniakova once before, in the first round of Doha past year.

Asked about it after the win over Nara, she said: "I'm not going to get into that".

The 37-year-old cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory and next faces fellow American Sofia Kenin.

Djokovic notched up another career milestone: His young son, Stefan, watched him play, and win, at Roland Garros for the first time.

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

Djokovic's next opponent, 147th-ranked Salvatore Caruso of Italy, reached the main draw via the qualifying tournament.

Fourth seed Dominic Thiem overcame an entertaining challenge from Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik to reach the third round for the fourth straight year.

World No. 91 Bublik delighted the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd with his wide range of shots, including three underarm serves in the opening set.

The clay courts of Roland Garros host the second Grand Slam of the season. The 25-year-old Austrian will next face Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay.

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