Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer all breezed through to Round 4 at the 2021 French Open as play continued Saturday.
None of the three legends had issues moving through, each scoring victories on a day without major upsets in the men's bracket. Barbora Krejcikova upset fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina, and Sloane Stephens continued her stellar run at Roland Garros with a win over Karolina Muchova in the biggest upsets of the women's side.
Saturday French Open Results
(1) Novak Djokovic def. Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-4, 6-1
(3) Rafael Nadal def. Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-3, 6-3
(8) Roger Federer def. Dominik Koepfer 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 7-5
(9) Matteo Berrettini def. Soonwoo Kwon 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-4
(10) Diego Schwartzman def. Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2, 6-1
(18) Jannik Sinner def. Mikael Ymer 6-1, 7-5, 6-3
(4) Sofia Kenin def. (28) Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Barbora Krejcikova def. (5) Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2
(8) Iga Swiatek def. (30) Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (4), 6-0
(24) Coco Gauff def. (13) Jennifer Brady 6-1, walkover
(17) Maria Sakkari def. (14) Elise Mertens 7-5, 6-7 (2), 6-2
Sloane Stephens def. (18) Karolina Muchova 6-3, 7-5
Djokovic's breezy three-set victory over Ricardas Berankis allowed him to advance to the fourth round of the French Open for the 12th consecutive year, setting an all-time record. He previously shared the mark with Nadal and Federer. Rising 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti awaits Djokovic in Round 4. Musetti opened his tournament with a shocking upset of David Goffin.
“He is a young player who plays with a lot of spin, speed,” Djokovic told reporters. “He has nothing to lose, so I need to be ready for this challenge.”
Nadal will likewise face a challenge from a rising upstart with 19-year-old Jannik Sinner awaiting. Sinner, who came back from being down two sets to one in his opening match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, seemed to right his ship in a straight-sets romp over Mikael Ymer.
"I need to be solid. I need to be aggressive too, because if not it's very difficult. I need to make him play from tough positions, and I can't make a lot of mistakes," Nadal told reporters of his matchup with Sinner.
Nadal showed no signs of slowing down in his defeat of Cameron Norrie, which moved his record at Roland Garros to an astounding 103-2. The Spaniard hit a series of well-placed returns to give himself 12 break-point chances and only surrendered three such opportunities to Norrie.
Federer had far more difficulty than Djokovic or Nadal, with Dominik Koepfer pushing him in a tough four-set match. The 20-time Grand Slam champion survived thanks in large part due to errors made by Koepfer that opened the door in a close match. Federer had 14 different break point chances, converting five, while only allowing six chances to Koepfer.
The women's side of the bracket was a little more chaotic, with Krejcikova's win over Svitolina ranking among the biggest upsets of the tournament thus far.
Four American women will be moving into Round 4 after Sofia Kenin, Coco Gauff and Sloane Stephens all advanced. Kenin overcame an ugly 10 double-faults in her three-set win over Jessica Pegula, as she looks to reach the French finals for a second straight year.
“This whole year hasn’t been so great in terms of my tennis,” Kenin told reporters. “I've had some early round exits. I'm just happy that I'm finally finding my rhythm and playing some good tennis again.”
Gauff advanced over fellow American Jennifer Brady in a walkover, with the 17-year-old moving into Round 4 for the first time at Roland Garros.
Stephens continued her shocking rebound to form as well in an impressive straight-sets win over Muchova. Once viewed as the next great American tennis player, Stephens has struggled in recent seasons and is currently No. 59 in the world.
Stephens, who has dealt with mental health issues, spoke out in favor of more players voicing their mental health concerns following Saturday's match.
"I feel like a lot of players on our tour suffer in silence. I think that is not cool and not fair and we should definitely approach it differently," Stephens told reporters. "The more support, the better. I think not only for us girls supporting each other but for the tour to be able to support us in different ways is super helpful."
The mental health of athletes has been at the forefront of discussion throughout the event, since Naomi Osaka withdrew after Roland Garros fined her $15,000 for refusing to speak with reporters. Osaka said she suffers from "huge waves of anxiety" before media appearances.