French Open 2024: Zverev survives huge scare in Griekspoor five-setter – as it happened

Estimated read time 13 min read

French Open on Saturday, staging a furious rally to fend off Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands in a five-set marathon.

The German need 4hr 13min to eliminate Griekspoor 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (10-3) on the clay courts at Roland Garros in Paris. And he came back from a fifth-set deficit, down a double break in a match littered with break opportunities.

Griekspoor broke Zverev to open the fifth set and again in the fifth game to take a 4-1 lead. But Zverev evened the set at 4-4, breaking his opponent in Griekspoor’s next two service games, aided by three double faults. In the tiebreaker Griekspoor failed to win a point on five of his six serves.

The Dutchman was looking for his third top-10 win and his first appearance in the fourth round of a grand slam. He was forced to play defensively throughout, fighting off 13 of 18 break points.

Also advancing Saturday were fifth-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia and Australia’s Alex de Minaur, the 11th seed. They will meet in the fourth round.

Medvedev knocked out the Czech Tomas Machac 7-6 (4), 7-5, 1-6, 6-4. De Minaur was a winner over Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

Saturday’s play started with the continuation of two matches suspended Friday due to rain. No. 21 Félix Auger-Aliassime of Canada took out No 15 Ben Shelton 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 to move on to a fourth-round match against Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, the third seed.

“For me today, the things that were in my control I did really well,” Auger-Aliassime said. “I am pleased with how I handled the match and gave him difficulty. I was able to put a lot of returns in and force his targets on first serve.

“He was not getting as many free points on that serve that he usually gets, so we had to engage in a rally every time and I think that paid off as the match went on.”

In the other suspended match, eighth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland topped Denis Shapovalov of Canada 6-3, 7-6 (0), 4-6, 6-1 to earn his 200th tour-level career victory. (Reuters)

A super comeback there, Zverev resurrecting himself from the depths of 1-4 down in the fifth set to reach the last 16 in Paris for the seventh consecutive time.

That’s all from us today, we’ll be back tomorrow. Have a lovely evening.

Zverev WINS 7-6, 4-6, 6-2 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor

The crowd can’t quite settle on their sweetheart in this final chapter. Zverev takes an early 3-1 lead in the tie-break, and holds on. Serving at 5-2, he is suddenly all power and angles, a backhand, off-balance, down the line takes it to 7-2. A bit of luck, a slight hesitation and suddenly there are seven match points for Zverev. Griekspoor saves the first but Zverev takes the second with an ace! They have a fond embrace at the net to huge applause. A smashing game.

*Zverev 6-6, 4-6, 6-2 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor (*denotes next server)

An unforced error makes Griekspoor smile, and pulls the point back immediately with a double handed backhand down the line. Nerveless play and he draws level again. Tiebreak!

Zverev 6-5, 4-6, 6-2 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor* (*denotes next server)

Zverev pulls out an ace on his second serve to make it 40-15. Another winning drop shot from Griekspoor but a crunching forehand from Zverev wins the game. Once again, Griekspoor must serve to stay in the match.

*Zverev 5-5, 4-6, 6-2 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor(*denotes next server)

An ace at 15-0 gives Griekspoor a cushion, volleys nonchalantly to make it 40-0, then double faults (number 6). But a drop shot clinches the game.

Zverev 5-4, 4-6, 6-2 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor(*denotes next server)

A back hand down the line winner for Zverev, then he sews up two banging rallies, his forehand suddenly finding new life.. Goes 5-4 up, sniffs the fourth round. Griekspoor suddenly serving to stay in the match.

*Zverev 4-4, 4-6, 6-2 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor(*denotes next server)

The umpire, who has had plenty to do with disputed line calls, especially from Zverev, asks for the crowd to be quiet. Griekspoor is 0-15 down on his serve but pulls back with a delightful drop shot that Zverev is too far back to reach. Double faults at 30-40 to hand Zverev a break point. His coaches stand up and fold their arms in unison. Then Griekspoor nets. Pressure talks. Zverev draws level.

Zverev 3-4, 4-6, 6-2 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor* (*denotes next server)

The forehand suddenly starting to work for Zverev, as Griekspoor falters. The crowd full engaged with this match – as Zverev pulls back with a service win.

*Zverev 2-4, 4-6, 6-2 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor (*denotes next server)

At 0-40 down, Griekspoor brings it back to 30-40 but Zverev takes the game – though without confidence

Zverev 1-4, 4-6, 6-2 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor* (*denotes next server)

Zverev’s forehand again fallible. He re-chews his necklace at 15-40 down on his own serve but it holds no magic and Griekspoor goes a double break up in the final set.

*Zverev 1-3, 4-6, 6-2 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor (*denotes next server)

A couple of huge returns from Zverev – his forehand, say the commentators, is better the less time he has to think about it. But Griekspoor, clever with his serve and volley, holds on.

Zverev 1-2, 4-6, 6-2 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor* (*denotes next server)

An enraged Zverev powers to a service win to love.

*Zverev 0-2, 4-6, 6-2 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor (*denotes next server)

Griekspoor goes 0-30 down in his serve, but comes back to win with a final ball just kissing the line. Zverev is not happy, disputes it, throws his racket, but goes 0-2 down.

Zverev 0-1, 4-6, 6-2 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor* (*denotes next server)

A passive Zverev allows the hardworking Griekspoor to break in the first game of the deciding set.

Right, now that’s done, let’s mosey over to Philippe-Chartrier, where it is two sets each in the Zverev v Griekspoor game. The fifth set about to start.

Machac 4-6, 6-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev

A loose return from Machac levels things at 15-all, but a peachy forehand into the corner takes him 30-15 up. Machac nets for 30-30 and Medvedev somehow returns a magical smash that Machac nets. Medvedev takes the game, the set and a thrilling match.

Medvedev gives Machac a respectful hug. What an energetic, skilful, calm performance by Machac, who took his chances and on another day would have knocked out the number 5 seed .

*Machac 4-5, 6-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev (*denotes next server)

After the previous eight-minute thriller, an easy service win for Medvedev – Machac must serve to stay in the match.

Machac 4-4, 6-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)

We wait while the umpires rescues an injured pigeon from the court with a towel. The towel swirling has infected the whole crowd as Machac unveils a number of winners to hold serve.

*Machac 4-3, 6-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev (*denotes next server)

Another screaming backhand down the line from Machac, as Medvedev is unsure of his first serve again. A break point for Machac roared on by the crowd and a member of his entourage (?) who repeatedly swirls a white towel over his head energetically. A brilliant knobbly-kneed overhead from Medvedev but it’s not enough. Break point for Machac again – Medvedev retorts with an ace. But another break point for Machac when a Medvedev drop shot goes wrong. Medvedev finally wins the game after a sixth deuce and eight minutes. The players chew on their gels like kids on a tube of Colgate.

Machac 3-3, 6-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)

A savage backhand down the line is followed by an ace, as Machac holds serve and we approach the business end of this fourth set.

The courts are sufficiently dry for things to get underway on court Simonne Mathieu where Qinwen Zheng (7) plays Elina Avanesyan and on Court 14 for Alex de Minaur (11) v Jan-Lennard Struff.

*Machac 1-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev (*denotes next server)

Back with serve, as Medvedev re-finds his mojo to go ahead for the first time in the fourth set.

Machac 1-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)

A nice drop shot gives Medvedev 0-15 advantage, but Machac stays cool and calm. Rival chants break out for each player, and Medvedev gets the break playing superb angles.

*Machac 1-0, 6-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev (*denotes next server)

Only 37 per cent of first serves landed for Medvedev in that third set, and he still hasn’t found his rhythm. Machac kisses the net reverently after an unluckly net chord. He can’t convert a first break point but another unforced error from Medvedev hands him another – which he takes.

Machac 6-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)

At 15-0 down against the Machac serve, Mededev goes to change his racket. The crowd, fully behind Machac, can’t work out if this is necessity or gamesmanship. Machac takes the set with a gentle winner – a 28-minute masterclass. Medvedev needs to rapidly re-focus.

*Machac 5-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev (*denotes next server)

Medvedev misses a volley while simultaneously dropping a ball out of his pocket, then nets a return to give Machac three set points. Medvedev saves the first but Machac wins the second with a divine bit of tennis.

Machac 4-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)

Mevedev now fully off-message, making chatty hand signals in a disagreement with his team. This set slipping away quickly as Machac quietly plays sound tennis.

*Machac 3-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev (*denotes next server)

Medvedev struggling with his first serve, and seems to have lost concentration, Machac makes the most of it to pounce and win the game

Machac 2-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)

From the camera angle behind Machac’s head, it looks as if Medvedev is playing in long white socks and a pair of slippers. The game looks as if it is running towards another break of serve but a bit of magic at the net wins it for Machac.

*Machac 1-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev (*denotes next server)

A chance for Machac to break back after a Medvedev double fault. Medvvedev saves one break point with a forehand down the line, but can’t save the second! An immediate break back for Machac in a thrilling match.

Machac 0-1, 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)

Machac serving at the start of the second set. Round neck banana t shirt, white backwards baseball cap and short blue shorts, but he’s not on his game and Medvedev has three break points – and takes the first, thanks very much.

While Medvedev and Machac go for a wipe down and a change, the cameras show the shiny wet chilli coloured courts outside.

*Machac 5-7, 6-7 Medvedev (*denotes next server)

Looking for all the world like a man dressed for tennis in 1978, Medvedev serves for the set. But a series of unforced errors gives Machac a break point. But after a testing rally, a backhand down the line from Machac goes long. Medvedev duly secures the set.

Machac 5-6, 6-7 Medvedev* (*denotes next server)

At 5-5, Medvedev secures a crucial break of serve thanks to a nervy double fault from Machac. Medvedev to serve for a 2-0 lead.

With things even on Philippe-Chatrier, let’s see how Daniil Medvedevbis doing again Tomas Machac on Suzanne Lenglen.

Play has now been delayed to 5.15pm CET (4.15 BST) and all doubles matches that haven’t started have been called off.

*Zverev 6-4, 3-6 Griekspoor (*denotes next server)

Griekspoor loses the first two points of this crucial service game. Zverev roars himself on, and continues in the same vein to have three set points. Griekspoor hits long and that’s the set! One-one.

Zverev 5-4, 3-6 Griekspoor* (*denotes next server)

A Griekspoor backhand has Zverev sprawling, and then chewing his gold necklace in thought, but dynamic serves ensure the game is his. Reaching crunch point in this set.

*Zverev 4-4, 3-6 Griekspoor (*denotes next server)

Rapt attention from the spectators. A double fault not what was needed here and Griekspoor follows up with a volley into the net. But he claws back wrongfooting Zverev at the net to hold serve, as has been the pattern in this set.

Zverev 4-3, 3-6 Griekspoor* (*denotes next server)

Zverev makes six foot two Griekspoor look like an average everyman with a perfectly placed lob over his outstretched arm. A clever lob from Griekspoor in return wins a point back – six foot six Zverev makes it but can only hit into the crowd. Zverev takes the service game.

*Zverev 3-3, 3-6 Griekspoor (*denotes next server)

Griekspoor, hat back to front, not at all overawed. Great touch in this game – a formidable serve paired with imaginative hitting sending Zverev around the court.

Zverev 3-2, 3-6 Griekspoor* (*denotes next server)

Zverev energises himself from somewhere, dashing into the net and then pulls out a deft volley to send the ball tumbling into the empty court. A tall figures, hair in a bun, lemon curd and white Tshirt, wins that service game to love.

*Zverev 2-2, 3-6 Griekspoor (*denotes server)

A pretty feeble game from Zverev hands Griekspoor a win to love.

Thanks Yara. Pesky rain. Only two games currently in play: number five seed Daniil Medvedev has just gone a set up against Tomas Machac on Suzanne Lenglen, and Alexander Zverev is a set down against Tallon Griekspoor on Philippe-Chatrier.

Tanya is back from her lunch and will continue to give you updates on these two games and the rain situation! Thanks for joining me.

Update: Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day. All the tennis players wants to play. Rain, rain, go away. No play on the outside courts until 5pm CET (4pm BST).

This is definitely unexpected. Was not expecting to take a set off Zverev on clay but here we are! The Dutch took advantage twice, remained calm and nabbed the set after the German netted a backhand.

Medvedev had 11 wins and two losses this year in tie-breaks and he just made it 12. Some great serving from him early on in the tie-break gave him the lead and he never letup.

And just as I type this, someone else has just won their first set …

*Machac 6-6 Medvedev (*denotes server) Machac forces a tie-break in the first set with a looping volley that is just out of Medvedev’s reach!

Zverev 2-5 Griekspoor* (*denotes server) The 25th seed is on the brink of taking this set. A couple of early faults don’t deter him and a spinny backhand proves too much for Zverev. The German now serves to stay in the set.


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