Key events

Norrie holds for 5-3, then races to 0-40 and three set points; not long ago, Pouille was right back in the match or appeared to be, thing is, the top players can step on the gas when challenged to and that’s what we’re seeing here. Pouille, though, makes 30…

On Mathieu, Rubelv has broken Moutet early doors and leads 3-1; he’s playing well at the moment and I wonder if he’s over a hump to become someone who regularly makes the last eight of Slams and better.

Norrie’s gran appears to have dressed him today, but he’s broken Pouille again and now leads 4-3 in set two, while Daniel has handed Alcaraz a break for 3-2 in set four.

Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Shapovalov has beaten Arnaldi 6-2 3-6 6-3 6-3; he plays Alcaraz or Daniel next, on which point Daniel has broken back so now leads 2-1 in the fourth. Then we see some of Garcia’s interview and she criticises herself for being too passive. She’d know better than me but that is not the match I think I saw – she saved eight match points because she was went for her shots.

Khachanov has broken Albot for 1-0 in the third; Alcaraz has broken Daniel for 1-0 in the fourth. In co-comms, Mac reckons Carlitos has the game to win Wimbledon, but perhaps not quite yet, saying his best surface is hard. Thing is, grass is sort of a combination of hard because it’s quick, and clay because the bounce is low, so it seems a matter of time before he masters it as Nadal did.

Go on Lucas! Pouille breaks Norrie for 2-2 in set two, and the crowd are totally behind him as you’d expect – he’s a Frenchman who’s come back from issues with depression and alcohol abuse to qualify for this competition. Norrie absolutely wiped him in the first set, but he’s into the match now.

While I was typing that, Norrie saved a break point before closing out for 6-1 2-0, Khachanov broke Albot for 6-4 6-4, and Alcaraz took set three off Daniel 6-1.

Looking around the courts, Hurkacz leads Griekspor 6-3 5-6; Davidovich Fokina leads Van Assche 5-3; Begu has beaten Errani 6-3 6-0; Shapovalov leads Arnaldi 6-2 3-6 6-3 4-2; and Bautista Agut leads Varillas 6-1 6-4 1-3.

As for our other matches, Norrie now leads Pouille 6-1 1-0 with a break, while Alcaraz is punishing Daniel for his effrontery in taking a set from him, 5-0 up in the third.

Thanks Stu. Kokkinakis notes that he may be 38 but Wawrinka played as well as possible for a set and a half – “I was nowhere”. He goes on to say that having lost a 2-0 lead against Murray, when he served for the match and Stan came back from 40-0, “you could imagine what was going around my mind,” and he admits he was shaking. But he saw it out and reaches round three for the first time since 2015, when he was 19. “I looked like I was gonna have a big future, then disappeared for a while,” he says, but he loves the surface and hopes the crowd support him in the next round given he won’t be playing Stan again – he in fact faces Khachanov or Albot, Khachanovv currently leading 6-3 4-4.

Thanasi Kokkinakis beats Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3

Come back any time, Stan. Hell, come back every time. Another dogged performance from the Swiss veteran, who shows he still belongs on this stage when his body allows. Even at 0-40 down he finds a baseline to make his opponent go again. And then again. And then all over again. All the way back to deuce. And then back there again after another match point, stinging the Australian’s racket as he lurked netside waiting to pick up anything retrievable.

At deuce No 3 Wawrinka thrashes wild and long to give the man facing him another window. Next the Australian forces him to return wide. Today it’s Kokkinakis’s occasion, one he’ll be relieved to have survived. In the face of nostalgia and romance, the 27-year-old held a limping, three-time slam champion – along with the crowd – at bay superbly. A cracking match.

Meanwhile Alcarez v Daniel has been rumbling along. I’ll let Mr Harris return and tell you all about it.

Wawrinka goes 0-30 down, and I’ll be honest … I start typing out the result. The Stan sails look markedly wind-bereft, but the prickly old pro finds a breeze from somewhere, first getting the benefit of a line call before crashing a forehand crosscourt right into the corner. He closes out to possibly the biggest roar Simonne-Mathieu will hear all week.

Now Kokkinakis must serve out from 5-3 up.

Kokkinakis is getting a thigh-rub after reopening a three-game lead in the final set. It’s now 5-2 with Wawrinka about to serve in an attempt to remain in this year’s men’s singles.

Taro Daniel has levelled things up against the world No 1!

It’s Alcaraz 6-1, 3-6 Daniel after a set of 12 unforced errors from the young Spaniard. The tournament favourite still looks cool and relatively unruffled in his chair but there was absolutely no sign whatsoever of this being a battle in the early stages. Now however … game on!

Wawrinka holds and is now 2-4 down in the final set against Kokkinakis. He’s also got the crowd on the end of a string.

More round-the-courts catch-up, with seeds in charge …
Karen Khachanov (11) leads Radu Albot 6-3, 2-2
Hubert Hurkacz (13) leads Tallon Griekspoor 6-3, 1-1
Roberto Bautista Agut (19) leads Juan Pablo Varillas 6-1, 5-3
Denis Shapovalov (26) leads Matteo Arnaldi 6-2, 3-6, 5-2

Irina-Camelia Begu (No 27 seed) is a set up against Sara Errani on court 9. She took the opener 6-3.

Taro Daniel, now well over his slow start, is serving for the second set against Alcaraz.

WAWRINKA BREAKS. Now 4-1 down with ball in hand. Strap in.

Wawrinka is broken again – now 4-0 down in the decider. Now 38, he has repeatedly declined the invitation to announce his imminent retirement this season. It will be interesting to see how he reflects on his two brutal five-setters at this year’s tournament, that would have sapped the heart out of most players half his age.

But ‘ello … he has two break points …

French sports minister warns Djokovic not to repeat political message

The French sports minister, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, says Novak Djokovic’s message about Kosovo was “not appropriate” and warned him not express his political view at the French Open again.

However, from within the ranks of the elite professionals at Roland Garros, Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina backed the men’s world No 3, saying that in a free world the Serb should have the right to express his opinion.

Crucially for his continued participation in Paris, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said Djokovic’s expression of his views did not violate any rules because the grand slam rulebook does not ban political statements.

Daniel is now 4-1 up as he plots to level things up against Alcaraz.

Meanwhile, is Wawrinka’s race run? He’s been broken early in the fifth, and is looking noticeably leggy in the face of the Kokkinakis serve. He’s already 3-0 down, and his Australian opponent looks undeniably the fresher of the two as the sun bakes four-fifths of Court Simonne-Mathieu.

Aryna Sabalenka [2] beats Iryna Shymanovich 7-5, 6-2

More quickfire fun and frolics, all wrapped up well within an hour and a half. The second seed from Belarus is getting a warm reception before analysing her performance courtside: “I’m not very happy with my game … I’ll work a little bit tomorrow [to be] a little bit more than I was ready today.”

She has now equalled her best performances at Roland Garros, having reached the third round in each of the past three years. Next up for her: the victor of Magdalena Frech v Kamilla Rakhimova.

Sloane Stephens beats Varvara Gracheva 6-2, 6-1

Stephens closes out for a regulation, 73-minute victory over her Russian opponent… she will play Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva in the third round.

Meanwhile, Daniel has held on to his serve to open up a 3-0 lead in the second set against Alcarez.

Sloane Stephens is another gazing right through her opponent towards the light of the third round. She’s serving to beat Varvara Gracheva on court 14 – the American has stormed her way to 6-2, 5-1.

Make that 5-2 in the second set – Shymanovich must now serve to stay in the tournament.

On Lenglen, Sabalenka is well in charge against Shymanovich. The No 2 seed leads 7-5, 4-2 with ball in band.

Daniel is enjoying a significantly better second set, taking the opening game … and finding two break points on the Alcaraz serve. The Spaniard nets an attempted cross-court power-punch, and Japan’s world No 112 is suddenly giving him plenty to think about. It’s 6-1, 0-2 on Philippe-Chatrier.

Wawrinka is hanging on in there … he’s taken a fourth-set tie-break to drag Kokkinakis the distance on Simonne-Mathieu. That is deliciously balanced at (Stan’s score first) 6-3, 5-7, 3-6, 7-6 (4).

I don’t imagine anybody’s looking seriously at odds for the Swiss for the tournament, but it’s an utter joy to see him delighting fans at Roland Garros once again. At various points in recent years his run of three grand slams between 2014 and 2016 must have felt a long, long time ago.

“It’s the best I’ve ever seen a 20-year-old – ever,” purrs McEnroe as Carlos Alcaraz closes out the first set 6-1, within 32 minutes. The first game in particular was such an effortless mowing that I genuinely thought they were still knocking up.

Taro Daniel is absolutely no mug by the way – this season alone he has tally-marks denoting victories over the likes of Casper Ruud and Alexander Zverev scratched into his racket-handle. This is just enormously impressive from the world No 1.

Wednesday’s results so far

Greetings all. Here’s what’s been concluded so far today (all second round) …

Women’s singles

Jessica Pegula (3) bt Camila Giorgi 6-2, retired
Daria Kasatkina (9) bt Marketa Vondrousova 6-3, 6-4
Elina Svitolina bt Storm Hunter 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
Peyton Stearns bt Jelena Ostapenko (17) 6-3. 1-6, 6-2
Elise Mertens (28) bt Camila Osorio 6-3, 7-6 (3)
Yulia Putintseva bt Zheng Qinwen (19) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
Anastasia Potapova (24) bt Mayar Sherif 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
Karolina Muchova bt Nadia Podoroska 6-3, 0-6, 6-3
Anna Blinkova bt Caroline Garcia (5) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova bt Liudmila Samsonova 4-6, 7-5, 7-5

Men’s singles

Stefanos Tsitsipas (5) bt Roberto Carballés Baena 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2
Lorenzo Sonego bt Ugo Humbert 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (3)
Fabio Fognini bt Jason Kubler 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-2
Sebastian Ofner bt Sebastian Korda (24) 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-4
Diego Schwartzman bt Nuno Borges 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-3

Sabalenka breaks immediately at the start of set two, and that’s no great surprise given how set one ended; Alcaraz leads Daniel 4-1 in the first; and Kokkinakis, leading Wawrinka 2-1, is serving for a breaker in the fourth. Otherwise, though, I’m off to perform the camp run, so here’s Stuart Goodwin to coax you through the next hour.

“She is quite right though,” says James W of Kasatkina’s musing that playing Vondrousova is ‘pain in the arse’. “Artists do tend to be a pain for mere mortals to play, namely coz (per Roddick vs Fed) ‘you throw the kitchen sink at them – and they come back with the bathtub’.”

I remember someone interviewing Roddick and calling what he and Federer had a rivalry; he pointed out that for that to be the case, he’d need to win a few. I’m sure he’d have settled for that 2009 Wimbledon final, one of the great matches.

At the end of a marathon game, Sabalenka breaks Shymanovich, who’s played pretty well, for a 7-5 set. Meantime, Muchova has beaten Podoroska 6-3 0-6 6-3 and meets Errani or Begu next; Bautista Agut leads Varillas 4-0; Shapovalov leads Arnaldi 6-2 4-2; and Schwartzman, who’s endured a miserable year, will face Tsitsipas after beating Borges 6,4 and 3. That should be a very good match.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beats Liudmila Samsonova [15] 4-6 7-5 7-5!

Pavlyuchenkova meets Potapova next, and so far today we’ve lost Garcia, Ostapenko, Samsonova and Zhang of the women’s seeds

Back on Lenglen, Sabalenka and Shymanovich are fighting over deuce-advantage, the world number 2 leading 6-5 in the first while Khachanov and Albot are away on Court 6 and Stephens has taken the first set of Grachova 6-2.

And of course Alcaraz – who, we’re advised, sometimes goes for too much down the line – breaks at the first time of asking, leading Daniel 2-0. And it’s hard to see a way for him, because though he’s a good player, he doesn’t have a weapon to trouble a player as complete as the world number 1, he’s just solid in all areas.

Asked if Alcaraz has any weaknesses, the best Mac can do is his backhand return out wide – which means a lefty could give him grief if it really is a weakness which it isn’t, it’s just something he doesn’t do quite as brilliantly as all the other things he does more brilliantly. “Who could possibly have thought he’d be this good this fast,” he adds later.

Shymanovich has broken Sabalenka and is now serving at 4-5 … while, on Chatrier, we’ve not only got Alcaraz but JP McEnroe on comms. Lucky us! He says he’s never seen a better teenager than yerman, rhapsodising how good he is for the game because he wants to try stuff the whole time.

Putintseva did indeed serve out against Wang, dismissing the number 19 seed 6-2 in the third – she meets Stephens or Grachova next – Pavlyuchenkova has broken Sansonav for 5-5, also in the third.

Next on Chatrier: Carlos Alcaraz [1] v Taro Daniel.

Phew. On Lenglen, Sabalenka has just broken Shymanovich for 4-2 while Samsonova is serving for the match against Pavlyuchenkova at 5-3 in the third. Stephens, meanwhile, is 2-0 up on Gracheva, Putintseva is serving for the match against Zheng, and Wawrinka leads Kokkinakis 2-1 in the fourth, Kokkinakis 2-1 ahead in sets.

Blinkova is remarkably calm as she speaks in French – she’s just played two hours 51 minutes! – saying she needed to take the crowd out of it, and is taking things game by game. She lost five match points in that final game alone, but mainly because Garcia took them from her not because she froze, and that is a massive upset.

Anna Blinkova beats Caroline Garcia [5] 4-6 6-3 7-5!

Blinkova showed so much bottle in this match and she finishes with a service winner when she might just’ve taken pace off. She meets Svitolina next and that’s one of the biggest wins of her career.

Blinkova unfurls a lovely top-spin forehand from the back, breaking the sideline and saving break point, then Garcia nets before saving yet another match point. Another follows, though, and just when it looks like it’s done, Blinkova finding a lovely angle on the backhand, her opponent frames one, turning an attempted pass into a drop-shot. Expletive!

No way! Garcia saves another match point … but then well in the rally on advantage, nets with a forehand. Oh man, and raising what I think is a fifth chance to finish things, Blinkova slings down a double! What a match this is; what a day this has already been.

“On Kasatkina (come from the Russian word, kasatka, meaning orca/killer whale btw!)‘ begins Proton Kuyon, “what a brilliantly cerebral player she is. So many cleverly-constructed points and different variations of spin and shot. Like a poor man’s Aga Radwanska, but getting better all the time.”

Yup, as I said, I don’t think I’ve seen her play as well as she did today, gut at 26 she still has time – especially given the capriciousness of the women’s game.

A backhand towards the tootsies and Blinkova breaks again for 6-5; she’s played so well today. Meantime, Kokkinakis hung on to take the third against Wawrinka, 6-3, so he leads 2-1; Sonego has just beaten Humbert 6-4 6-3 7-6(3) – he meets Moutet or Rublev next –; and Schwartzman leads Borges 7-6(3) 6-4.

Gosh, Garcia finds herself down 0-30 thanks in part to an injudicious double … but seconds later she’s again got her arm raised, tanking in to flick a drop over and onto the sideline. But Blinkova edges the next point and needs one more for the break…

Email! “Watching Stanimal Wawrinka absolutely smoke backhands is a joy to behold,” writes James W. “You’re right in saying that it’s immense that playing in the same era as the Big 3 and Andy Murray, it’s an ubermensch achievement to have got three slams (three different ones too!) and having to beat the World Number 1 (Novak twice, Nadal once) to win each one. Of course his career will not be remembered quite like Andy’s (who has over 20 career titles, a final or better at all four slams, the Number 1 ranking) for the sheer numbers. But for the sheer thrill of showing up in the first shorts he managed to find that morning, pulling them on and starting to smoke winners from all parts of the court (Novak’s coronation as finally winning the French was rather derailed coz everybody forgot just how good Stan is on clay, having grown up playing on it). It is a visceral thrill and one of the most beautiful things in sport today, watching Stan turn up looking hungover from the night before and just paint the lines. I really hope he goes far this French Open. At 37, you don’t know how many more slams he has in him! Make it count, Stan.”

Agreed, a hero.

Next on Lenglen: Shymanovich v Sabalenka [2].

Garcia earns another break-back point but Blinkova finds another first serve and the return drops long. This is fantastic stuff, it really is, and a backhand cross-court, breaking the sideline, gives Garcia another chance to save herself, and a booming forehand has her saluting the crowd as she makes 5-5! What it takes to play like this under this pressure is incredible, because Blinkova didn’t hand that over, quite the reverse – she handled herself, and Garcia was good enough to find what she needed.

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