Sports Djokovic jokes about French-speaking skills after Paris win
Canada's Shapovalov loses to Ruud of Norway in Geneva Open final
GENEVA — Denis Shapovalov might have lost final of the Geneva Open, but the Canadian said his solid week set him up nicely for the red clay courts of the French Open in less than two weeks. The No. 2 seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., lost 7-6(6), 6-4 to Norway's Casper Ruud on Saturday, and moments after the match, Shapovalov was asked if he'd proved a point about his ability on clay. "I don't think I have any points to prove. I'm playing forThe No. 2 seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., lost 7-6(6), 6-4 to Norway's Casper Ruud on Saturday, and moments after the match, Shapovalov was asked if he'd proved a point about his ability on clay.
PARIS (AP) — Being such a perfectionist, Novak Djokovic is not quite happy with his French. His play? That's a different story.
After reaching the fourth round at Roland Garros for a men's-record 12th consecutive year with another easy win Saturday, the 18-time Grand Slam champion from Serbia was doing rather well speaking French until he was asked to get a bit more technical and talk about the playing conditions, then his next opponent.
“Sorry, I am trying to learn more words," the No. 1-ranked player said with a self-depreciating smile as he fumbled a bit for more specific vocabulary. “I have used up 90% of my French.”
One more thrill: Phil Mickelson wins at 50 in raucous PGA
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Standing on the 18th tee with a two-shot lead in a championship he refused to imagine himself winning, Phil Mickelson took one last violent swing with a driver — the club that betrayed him 15 years earlier in the U.S. Open. His tee shot Sunday in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island landed only a few yards off the fairway, but it still nestled among the people — the gallery packed tightly between the ropes and a row of hospitality tents — screaming the name of their aging hero. After Mickelson's approach shot settled on the green, assuring the 50-year-old of becoming the oldest major champion in history, the crowd swallowed him up entirely.
Courtside interviewer Cedric Pioline encouraged him, and so Djokovic obliged.
“The conditions were different. How do you say in French?” Djokovic said, this time truly lost for words.
So he moved his hand to describe the height of the ball bouncing in overcast and cool conditions compared to hot conditions in the previous two rounds, and looked hopefully across to Pioline, who helped him out with a couple of words.
“The bounce was lower," a relieved Djokovic said. "I think I coped well.”
His next opponent is a 19-year-old Italian, Lorenzo Musetti.
“He is a young player who plays with a lot of spin, speed,” Djokovic said, measuring his words out slowly but surely. “He has nothing to lose, so I need to be ready for this challenge.”
That was enough Français for one afternoon.
Djokovic, Nadal, Federer in same half of French Open field
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer all ended up in the same half of the French Open men's field in the draw Thursday, meaning no more than one of them can reach the final. The Big Three top the leaderboard for Grand Slam men’s singles titles: Federer and Nadal head to Roland Garros, where play begins Sunday, tied with 20, while Djokovic has 18. No. 20 seed Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., faces Brazil's Thiago Monteiro in the first round, while No. 20 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal meets Andreas Seppi of Italy.
“Stop there, please!” Djokovic implored Pioline in French, quickly moving his hands together and then apart as a film director would when shouting “Cut!”
Djokovic was clearly in high spirits, tilting his head back and laughing. And why not? In his 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 victory against 93rd-ranked Ricardas Berankis, Djokovic never faced a break point and compiled 30 winners to only 18 unforced errors.
Djokovic, who has dropped a total of 23 games across three matches so far, was still chuckling as he walked slowly off the court and into the fourth round once again.
With the help of a couple of “magic” shots, Lorenzo Musetti is just the sixth man since 2000 to reach the fourth round of his first career Grand Slam tournament.
And he wasn’t even the only 19-year-old from Italy to get to the round of 16 at the French Open with a victory Saturday: Jannik Sinner is joining Musetti in Week 2 this year, after making it to the quarterfinals in 2020. The 18th-seeded Sinner beat Mikael Ymer 6-1, 7-5, 6-3.
French Open schedule 2021: Full draws, TV coverage, channels & more to watch every tennis match
Here's everything you need to know about watching the 2021 French Open, including a full TV schedule and live-streaming information.Now with things about to get underway, all eyes will be on the "King of Clay," Rafael Nadal, as he goes for his 14th title — and fifth consecutive — at Roland Garros. If he wins the tournament, he will break a tie with Roger Federer for most men's Grand Slam titles. The duo is tied at 20.
“Me and Jannik, I think we are the future of Italian tennis,” said the 76th-ranked Musetti, “and ... tennis in general.”
It's the first time in 15 years that there are two teens from anywhere — let alone the same country — in the fourth round at Roland Garros; Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils did it in 2006.
Musetti produced two highlight-reel shots — maybe the two best of the entire season — during his 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win against 2018 French Open semifinalist Marco Cecchinato.
One came after being lured forward by Cecchinato's drop shot, then sent scrambling toward the baseline by a lob. Musetti flicked aof his own that floated over and past Cecchinato and landed in.
The other one, which came earlier in the match, topped that, somehow: aon a point that Cecchinato began with an underhand serve.
With a gesture that screamed, “Are you not entertained?!” Musetti spread his arms out wide as the crowd went wild.
Musetti later described that volley as “unexpected” and “a little bit more magic.”
Djokovic, Difficult evacuation on the Central
© provided by Sports.co.uk Its quarterfinium against Novak Djokovic ended in session. Funny first, really. For the first time since the beginning of the fortnight, and incidentally of all the history of the tournament, the Night-Session of Wednesday took place with the public. Or in any case, she started with a short philippe-cantrier rather filled, with the 5000 authorized spectators. The problem is that the curfew, offset at 23h, deprived the spectators of the end of the meeting.
“I had, also, a laugh about it, because, I mean, I wanted to do it,” Musetti said, “but if I try, like, 10 times, probably (I'm not) going to do it ... one time.”
KOSTYUK'S NEW SELF-VIEW
Still a teen, Marta Kostyuk is playing in her fifth Grand Slam tournament, and in her Week 2 debut at a major she'll face quite a challenge: going up against defending French Open champion Iga Swiatek.
The 81st-ranked Kostyuk made it to the round of 16 at a Slam for the first time by eliminating Varvara Gracheva 6-1, 6-2 on Saturday.
Kostyuk was a junior Grand Slam champion who made her debut in the main draw at that level at age 15. Now, with her 19th birthday approaching on June 28 and three wins this week, Kostyuk has a different self-view.
“I’m not coming here as, like, a talented young girl, beating high-ranked players, higher-ranked players. I’m actually the one this time that is supposed to win,” Kostyuk said. “Honestly, in my head, I don’t feel like I’m in fourth round at all. It’s just another win for me. It’s just another match for me on Monday."
Not against just another opponent, however.
Swiatek erased an early 4-2 deficit and wound up defeating 30th-seeded Anett Kontaveir 7-6 (4), 6-0.
That means Swiatek has won 20 sets in a row at the French Open. Last year, she became the first woman since Justine Henin in 2007 to win the title without ceding a set.
Djokovic-Nadal, Tsitsipas-Zverev in French Open semifinals
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal know there's something special about the two of them meeting in the French Open semifinals — even if they'd prefer, of course, for it to happen a round later. “Each time we face each other, there’s that extra tension and expectations,” the top-seeded Djokovic said. “Just vibes are different walking on the court with him.” The third-seeded Nadal's take? “In some way," he said, "we are practicing, we are living the sport, for these moments.” Whatever the quality of play might be between Nadal and Djokovic in Paris on Friday — their semifinal will follow the one between No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and No.
Diego Schwartzman is strolling through this year's French Open, on and off the court.
The 10th-seeded Argentine has yet to drop a set. An added bonus is that he can walk around Paris for a bit on days when he doesn't have a match.
“It’s a very special place for me and I’m very happy to be back, playing my best tennis again and with a crowd," 2020 Roland Garros semifinalist Schwartzman said after beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday. “Last year was my best tournament here and not many people could come. I’m happy to play with a lot of people this week.”
Last year, players had to stay in their hotels before and after matches or practice because of coronavirus rules. No hanging out — at all.
At least now, they're allotted an hour a day to see the city. Which might not seem like a lot, but it's a big change from the last trip to the clay-court Grand Slam tournament.
So Schwartzman keeps looking forward to those chances to “walk around Paris a bit in the afternoon."
AP Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich in Washington contributed.
More AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press
French Open runner-up Tsitsipas says he learned a lesson .
PARIS (AP) — When Stefanos Tsitsipas' first Grand Slam final had ended, he sank into his changeover chair and buried his head in a towel. Novak Djokovic has that effect on opponents. Tsitsipas built a big lead and appeared on his way to an upset victory at the French Open, but Djokovic mounted an improbable comeback to win his 19th major title Sunday, 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. “What I learned today is that no matter what, in order for the match to be finished, you have to win three sets and not two,” Tsitsipas said. "Two sets doesn’t really mean anything." Not against Djokovic, who overcame a two-set deficit for the second time in the tournament and the sixth time in his career.