Most of the top-seeded favorites at the 2015 French Open cruised to victory in Saturday's third-round action, but not all of them found it so easy on Day 7 at Roland Garros.
Three of the top men's singles favorites had no trouble breezing past would-be dangerous opponents to move on to Monday's Round 4 bracket, but the same can't be said on the women's side. Serena Williams was pushed to the brink of elimination for a second straight match, nearly falling to Victoria Azarenka before finding her form in the final set.
That's only the start of how things unfolded Saturday in Paris, so take a look below for a rundown of the scores and a closer look at the top results.
2015 French Open Scores: Day 7
|No. 1 Novak Djokovic def. Thanasi Kokkinakis||6-4, 6-4, 6-4|
|No. 3 Andy Murray def. No. 29 Nick Kyrgios||6-4, 6-2, 6-3|
|No. 6 Rafael Nadal def. Andrey Kuznetsov||6-1, 6-3, 6-2|
|No. 20 Richard Gasquet def. No. 15 Kevin Anderson||4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5, 6-4|
|No. 9 Marin Cilic def. No. 23 Leonardo Mayer||6-3, 6-2, 6-4|
|Jeremy Chardy def. No. 17 David Goffin||6-3, 6-4, 6-2|
|No. 7 David Ferrer def. Simone Bolelli||6-3, 1-6, 5-7, 6-0, 6-1|
|Jack Sock def. Borna Coric||6-2, 6-1, 6-4|
|No. 1 Serena Williams def. No. 27 Victoria Azarenka||3-6, 6-4, 6-2|
|No. 4 Petra Kvitova def. No. 30 Irina-Camelia Begu||6-3, 6-2|
|No. 17 Sara Errani def. No. 10 Andrea Petkovic||6-3, 6-3|
|Sloane Stephens def. Tsvetana Pironkova||6-4, 6-1|
|Alison Van Uytvanck def. Kristina Mladenovic||6-4, 6-1|
|No. 23 Timea Bacsinszky def. No. 16 Madison Keys||6-4, 6-2|
Complete scores at RolandGarros.com
No. 1 Novak Djokovic def. Thanasi Kokkinakis, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
The competition is getting stiffer for Novak Djokovic, and it's showing. But he's not letting his grasp over the French Open slip, as he advanced to the fourth round for a sixth straight year with a straight-sets drubbing of Thanasi Kokkinakis.
The 19-year-old Australian looked comfortable against the top seed and did well to win four games in each set, but he never posed much of a threat. Along with his strong play, he needed Djokovic to have an uncharacteristic performance—instead, Djokovic posted just 12 unforced errors in a near-perfect outing.
Although it wasn't enough to muster up a set victory, Kokkinakis more than proved himself with the spotlight firmly on him, as ESPN's Darren Cahill noted:
Kokkinakis had plenty of success with his serve, smashing eight aces and relegating Djokovic to a lowly 34 percent conversion rate on receiving points. But the Serbian won 84 percent of his own first serves and refused to give his opponent any cheap points, paving the way to an easy victory despite the tough test.
The win marked Djokovic's 25th straight victory in competitions, but his streak may be put in serious jeopardy in the coming days. A meeting with Frenchman Richard Gasquet, seeded at No. 20, looms in the fourth round, before a potential dreamlike quarterfinal between Djokovic and Rafael Nadal—the man who ousted him in the last three French Opens.
If both Djokovic and Nadal take care of business in the fourth round, a mouth-watering rematch will be in the cards.
No. 1 Serena Williams def. No. 27 Victoria Azarenka, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
An opponent pushed the top seed in the women's draw to the brink of elimination for the second time in as many matches, and this time, it seemed likely to do her in. But Williams turned it on when it mattered most, toppling 27th-seeded Azarenka in a three-set thriller.
NBC Sports captured highlights of the win:
Azarenka came into Saturday winless in her last eight Grand Slam meetings with Williams but looked intent on changing that early. She broke Williams early to take the opening set and had things tied up in set No. 2, only two games away from eliminating the popular American.
It took some good fortune for Williams to get out of that second set and force a final one, as told by Sports Illustrated Tennis:
Azarenka looked to be on the verge of winning again when she broke Williams and took a 2-0 lead in the final set, but that only woke up the two-time French Open champion. She turned it up and dominated the final six games to leave no doubt of her place in the fourth round.
Although she faces an unseeded Sloane Stephens in Round 4, Williams won't be downplaying the test ahead. The young American has beaten both Serena Williams and Venus Williams in her young career but is looking to become just the fourth person to do so in the same Grand Slam, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Saturday proved that Williams needs to step up in order to stay alive much longer at Roland Garros, but it also showed that when she's clicking, nobody can stop her.
No. 3 Andy Murray def. No. 29 Nick Kyrgios, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3
Like Djokovic, Andy Murray also scoffed at a potential test from a young Australian up-and-comer. He took care of business against 29th-seeded Nick Kyrgios, winning in a straight-sets match that got easier as it wore along.
In similar fashion to earlier this year, when Murray and Kyrgios faced off in the Australian Open, Kyrgios played his game early on, but it didn't seem to matter. Murray's incredible return game all but neutralized Kyrgios, who had only two aces, compared to seven double-faults.
Instead of saving some energy for late, Kyrgios seemed to fade down the stretch. His fatigue led to 10 Murray aces and allowed Murray to win a highly impressive 50 percent of his receiving points against one of the sport's biggest serves.
Much of the talk will inevitably fall upon the shoulders of Djokovic and Nadal, with their quarterfinal match looming, but Murray looks intent on cruising to face the winner in the semis. He's now a perfect 13-0 on clay this year, having not dropped a single set at Roland Garros.
All that stands between Murray and a quarterfinal date with either David Ferrer or Marin Cilic is a fourth-round matchup with unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. Considering his recent play, he'll have no trouble getting through those matches.