Stefanos Tsitsipas said the consistency of his rivals has pushed him to become a better athlete after he eased into the French Open's last-16 with a 6-2 6-2 6-1 win over Mikael Ymer.

Having fought back from two sets down to beat Lorenzo Musetti in the first round before downing Zdenek Kolar in an absorbing four-set contest featuring three tie-breaks, the Greek enjoyed a more routine outing against the 23-year-old Swede.

Fourth seed Tsitsipas, who finished as runner-up at Roland Garros in 2021 after squandering a two-set final lead against Novak Djokovic, has been tipped for a serious tilt at a first Grand Slam title after landing on the opposite side of the draw to many of the pre-tournament favourites.

The world number four cannot meet any of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, or Carlos Alcaraz until the final, seemingly giving him a shot of atoning for his final disappointment last year.

After storming to a dominant win over Ymer, the 23-year-old said the excellence of tennis' fellow leading lights has motivated him to change his lifestyle to further his chances of success.  

"Well, I will tell you that I respect a lot the top three for having been so incredibly consistent the last couple of years," he told a post-match press conference.

"I have questioned myself, how do I become a better athlete? These guys have pushed me to become a better athlete. 

"I question myself, really, what can I add to my life that can eventually help me achieve more and do more, and do better in terms of my career. So, every day is a question: What can I add?

"Looking back on the diet that I had, let's say, three or four years ago, it's nothing compared to what I have now. In terms of fitness, this is something that I have questioned a lot, as well.

"And, of course, the balance between life and career. It hasn't been easy, but I kind of feel in better control of my life right now, being focused and having control around me without relying too much on other people's feelings."

Tsitsipas was only on court for an hour and 32 minutes in his third round win, and was pleased with making quicker progress than had been the case in his previous outings at the tournament.

"I had to do my job. I had to play my tennis. I wasn't really thinking of the ease that I could maybe create in terms of a result," he added.

"But with my good efforts, the way I committed myself to every single point individually, the end was good. I was able to create a good result today with some good tennis

"It's a good thing to have a match like this every now and then, I think. It was a good performance in ways."

Iga Swiatek is the last top-10 seed remaining in the women's draw at the French Open after Camila Giorgi knocked out Aryna Sabalenka on Saturday.

Giorgi moved into the fourth round with a 4-6 6-1 6-0 defeat of the seventh seed on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

Italian Giorgi broke the two-time grand slam semi-finalist from Belarus' serve six times as she booked a meeting with Daria Kasatkina, progressing beyond the third round for the first time at Roland Garros.

Veronika Kudermetova earlier reached the last 16 of a major for the first time when Paula Badosa retired from their third-round match due to a right calf injury at 6-3 2-1 down.

With third seed Padosa and Sabalenka making an exit, world number one Swiatek is an even stronger favourite to win the title for the second time.

The top seed saw off Danka Kovinic 6-3 7-5 in the opening match of the day on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

It is only the second time this century that only one of the top-10 seeds has reached the fourth round, with the other occasion being when Karolina Pliskova was the last such player left standing at Wimbledon four years ago.

Czech Pliskova failed to capitalise at the All England Club, as she was knocked out in the fourth round.

Daniil Medvedev is on a mission to avoid being remembered as a two-week wonder at world number one as he attempts to claw top spot back from Novak Djokovic.

The US Open champion climbed to the summit of the ATP rankings in late February of this year and had a fortnight there before surrendering the top rung to Djokovic, the long-time incumbent.

Djokovic remains there and has spent a record 371 weeks at number one across his career, while Roger Federer had 310 weeks on top and Rafael Nadal 209 weeks.

Their dominance has been at the extreme end of the sporting spectrum, and Medvedev will probably never get close to matching any of their totals, but there is a strong chance he will jump back to number one sooner rather than later.

Medvedev revealed on Saturday he had searched on the internet to learn which players had short runs at number one comparable to his own, such is his fascination.

He is closely tracking Djokovic in the current world rankings, and should he reach the French Open final next weekend he will overtake the 35-year-old Serbian – even if Djokovic successfully defends his Roland Garros title.

Then the decision by the ATP to strip Wimbledon of ranking points means Djokovic will lose 2,000 points after that tournament, having been champion last year, while Medvedev has only a handful to hand back. He is banned from Wimbledon, as all Russians are, and is unhappy to be missing out, but he stands to benefit on the rankings list.

"I for sure want to be there more than two weeks. I want to try to do it," Medvedev said. "We don't know how, this Wimbledon thing, but I want to try to make the best results possible."

Medvedev recalled being told by Tennis Channel how he could return to number one in Paris, saying that was "great to know".

"That's great motivation," Medvedev said. "It's not something that pressures me, because I'm really happy I managed to do it.

"I remember at Indian Wells I lost, I didn't like my match against Gael [Monfils], and that's when I knew I was going to lose the number one spot.

"I was like, well, just two weeks. I went on the internet and looked just like this on Google, who were the shortest number one players in the world, and the first I saw was Pat Rafter being there for one week, and he's an absolute legend, and Carlos Moya was somewhere there. Two weeks.

"If somebody would ask me, how long were Rafter and Moya number one, I'd say, I don't know, six months, one year."

After a 6-2 6-4 6-2 win over Djokovic's compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, which set up a last-16 clash with Maric Cilic, the 26-year-old Medvedev spoke of his pride at having briefly lorded it over his tour rivals.

"It's something nobody can take away from me," he said. "Not that many players could take it while they play tennis. It's a great motivation to try to come back there."

Iga Swiatek insists she is unbothered by the focus on her remarkable winning streak as she continues to play with "nothing to lose" at the French Open.

World number one Swiatek progressed into the fourth round at Roland Garros with a 6-3 7-5 win over Danka Kovinic on Saturday.

The 20-year-old has won her last 31 matches, just one short of the tally achieved by former world number one Justine Henin in 2008.

Swiatek would match the longest winning streak of this century, set by Venus Williams in 2000 (35), should she go on to lift the trophy in Paris.

But the Pole says is focusing on playing with freedom as opposed to getting caught up in the furore surrounding her winning run.

"For sure nothing to lose. It's been always like that. I feel like every person plays better when they feel like they have nothing to lose," Swiatek told reporters.

"I mean, from my point of view, I don't really mind the streak. I'm just playing my tennis. I've gained so many points this season already that I try to look at it from that perspective that I actually have nothing to lose here.

"I just try to focus on the stuff that actually is going on. Thinking about all these stats, it's not really helpful.

"So basically I try to be really strict in terms of my thoughts and try to really focus on finding solutions.

"The thoughts are there, but I'm accepting that, and it's kind of the biggest part of the job is to manage them properly and to really shift the focus on the right things."

Swiatek won her first and only grand slam at Roland Garros in 2020, and has now won 17 of the 19 matches she has played at the French Open.

That feat ranks her just behind Margaret Court, Chris Evert and Monica Seles for the number of wins from their first 19 matches at Roland Garros in the Open Era.

Overcoming China's Zheng Qinwen is the next task for Swiatek, who expects a tough test against the world number 74.

"I'm not really familiar, honestly. Because I didn't watch a lot of tennis during the past couple of months, but I have heard some other players talking about her," she added. 

"I'm sure that she's in the right place for her to be, because she's playing really well. Even when she lost some matches, people were really telling me that she has talent.

"But I didn't really watch a lot, so I'm not like tactically ready. For now I'm going to prepare, for sure."

World number one Iga Swiatek put herself among an illustrious group of tennis greats by claiming her 17th match win at Roland Garros.

Swiatek is the favourite for the French Open title this year, and the Pole has been in dominant form so far in Paris.

On Saturday, she defeated Danka Kovinic 6-3 7-5 to move into round four, tallying up a 31st consecutive win in the process – only three players Justine Henin (32), Serena Williams (34) and Venus Williams (35) have recorded longer winning streaks this century.

Swiatek won the first and only grand slam title of her career at Roland Garros in 2020, and of the 19 matches she has now played at the French Open, the 20-year-old has won 17.

That feat ranks her just behind Margaret Court, Chris Evert and Monica Seles for the number of wins from their first 19 matches at Roland Garros in the Open Era.

Evert, Seles and 24-time grand slam winner Court managed 18 victories from that number of matches.

Swiatek was beaten by Maria Sakkari at the quarter-final stage in Paris last year.

Iga Swiatek's quest to win a second French Open title continued as she progressed into the fourth round with a 6-3 7-5 defeat of Danka Kovinic.

Playing early on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Saturday, the top seed made ultimately got past the world number 95 Kovinic in straight sets, though the Montenegrin did not go down without a fight.

Kovinic took all three break points that Swiatek offered up, with two of those coming in the second set, halting what seemed set to be a procession for the favourite.

It has been over 100 days since Swiatek last lost a match, but the Pole temporarily lost her composure as Kovinic reeled off four straight games to go from 4-1 down to 5-4 up.

The final game of Kovinic's streak was settled by a poor Swiatek backhand into the net as the 20-year-old saw the momentum swing the way of her opponent, who was frustrating the world number one with some sublime drop shots.

Swiatek took a moment to recover, donning an extra layer, and responded in the next game by holding to 15, and a stray forehand from Kovinic then handed the 2020 champion a break and the chance to serve out the match.

It was an opportunity Swiatek grasped, and though Kovinic fended off the first match point with a powerful forehand, a return straight into the net confirmed her exit.

Swiatek will face Zheng Qinwen or Alize Cornet in round four.

Data Slam: Swiatek closing in on Henin

Swiatek's winning streak now stands at 31 matches, just one short of the tally reeled off by former world number one Justin Henin in 2008. Should she go all the way and triumph again at Roland Garros, then she will match the longest winning streak of this century, set by Venus Williams in 2000 (35).

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Swiatek – 13/23
Kovinic – 13/31

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Swiatek – 1/0
Kovinic – 3/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Swiatek – 5/10
Kovinic – 3/3

Carlos Alcaraz put on a mesmerising show for the late-night Court Philippe-Chatrier crowd as the teenage sensation of men's tennis raced into the French Open fourth round.

In a performance described by former British number one Tim Henman as "an absolute clinic", Alcaraz swept to a 6-4 6-4 6-2 win against American Sebastian Korda.

Korda, 21, is widely expected to be a star of the men's tour for years to come, and he beat Alcaraz on clay in Monte Carlo only last month.

This time he found 19-year-old Spaniard Alcaraz too hot to handle on the surface, with the fast-rising world number six demonstrating the form that has brought him a tour-leading four titles in 2022 already.

Tournament organisers were giving the Paris crowds a glimpse into the future by handing Korda and Alcaraz the hot-ticket night session slot. They are both becoming increasingly a factor in the present, too, and Alcaraz is rated a strong contender for the title this fortnight.

Victory made him the youngest man to reach round four at the French Open since Novak Djokovic in 2006, the ATP said. After winning titles in Barcelona and Madrid, Alcaraz is on a 13-match winning run.

It took him two hours and six minutes to get the job done this time, flashing 18 passing shot winners past his opponent, the son of one-time Roland Garros runner-up Petr Korda.

"It's amazing to play in front of such a great crowd, a great atmosphere here in Philippe-Chatrier," Alcaraz said. "I think the night session is fun to play, the whole people enjoyed the match, and I'm grateful to play in front of such a good crowd.

"Of course, in early matches I'm trying to have fun out there. I love playing this kind of tennis court. I love playing in France. I'm enjoying every single second."

Baseliner Alcaraz surprised many by bringing out a rush of serve-volley points, and revealed that was at the behest of coach Juan Carlos Ferrero.

He also revealed how Ferrero, who was briefly a world number one and won the 2003 French Open men's title, remained in great nick on the practice courts at the age of 42.

"I think not too far away, a couple of months ago or a year ago, he beat me in a training set," Alcaraz said. "He's in good shape, and he could beat a lot of players now in a training set."

Henman, analysing the match for Eurosport, said Alcaraz was the complete package. It was a performance that suggested Alcaraz's five-set struggle against Albert Ramos-Vinolas in round two was a blip.

"I thought his performance was absolutely incredible," former world number four Henman said. "Korda perhaps didn't play as well as he would have liked, but he wasn't allowed to play because of the sheer quality of Alcaraz in every area.

"All credit to Alcaraz, it was an absolute clinic out there."

Henman said the youngster turned "defence into attack in the blink of an eye", adding: "I think he came in expecting a really difficult match, and he destroyed Korda."

Alcaraz reached round three on his Roland Garros debut last year, and has now gone a step further, with Russian Karen Khachanov awaiting him next.

Swedish great Mats Wilander, who won the French Open three times in the 1980s, said Alcaraz on the backhand was "very much like Novak Djokovic".

"The forehand side I'm not really sure, I can't explain it," said Wilander, "because the speed of his arm and when he decides to go full... when he goes full it is unbelievable when the ball hits the clay and bounces."

Toni Nadal's loyalties will be split between nephew Rafael and current charge Felix Auger-Aliassime after the French Open served up a delicious last-16 clash.

Known popularly on the tour as Uncle Toni, the man who was at superstar Nadal's side for so many of his greatest triumphs signed up to coach Canadian Auger-Aliassime last year.

Nadal and 21-year-old Auger-Aliassime have had just one past competitive meeting, three years ago on clay in Madrid, but they will go head to head in Paris in the fourth round, and the prospect could hardly be more appetising.

According to Rafael Nadal, who says he has "zero problem" with the scenario, Uncle Toni "wants the best for me".

But Toni Nadal has been hired by Auger-Aliassime, so in theory, he should want the best for the man who grew up in Quebec, too.

Auger-Aliassime earned a hard-fought 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 win over Serbian Filip Krajinovic on Friday, while Nadal fended off Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp for the loss of only nine games.

There is seemingly no prospect of the Nadals staying away from one another ahead of the tussle.

"I already talked with Toni after my match," said Rafael Nadal after sinking the hopes of Van de Zandschulp.

"For me, it's very simple. He's my uncle. I don't think he will be able to want me to lose, without a doubt, but he's a professional and he's with another player.

"I don't know what's gonna happen, if he's gonna stay in the box or not, but I don't care. I have zero problem with that. So it's not a story at all for me. I know what the feelings are that we have between each other. I know he wants the best for me."

Nadal said he had no issue with Uncle Toni working for another player, adding: "He's old enough to make his own decisions, no?

"I can't thank him enough for all the things that he did for me during so many years. I don't have any problem with any position that he's making. I want the best for him, and he wants the best for me. We are family more than anything else.

"Not only family; we are a family that stay together all the time. We are in the same village. We spend time in the academy together. We lived incredible emotions together. So he's not only an uncle. He's more than that."

All of which may have made for interesting listening for Auger-Aliassime, who has joined Nadal in the world's top 10 since their meeting three years ago, with the Canadian at a career-high ninth in the rankings.

Auger-Aliassime's clay-court form has been patchy this season, and it would be a major surprise if he took the scalp of the 13-time French Open champion, who is defying ongoing foot pain to keep his career going.

Toni Nadal joined Frederic Fontang in Auger-Aliassime's coaching set-up, and it may be the latter who does much of the tactical planning for the next match.

"I don't know if I need insight on how Rafa plays, to be honest," said Auger-Aliassime. "I think we all know what he does well.

"It was black and white from the first time we started working together. We knew it was a possibility that eventually I would play Rafa when I'm working with Toni. And actually now he's present here in this grand slam. But I think Toni will watch from a neutral place and enjoy the match.

"From my part it's another match, another opportunity to try to play a good match and win, but of course it's very difficult. I don't know how Toni feels. Maybe we should ask him, but he hasn't talked to me about it."

Auger-Aliassime called for observers to consider the "bigger picture", and what Toni and his nephew, the record-holding 21-time men's grand slam winner, achieved together.

"It's one match, let's play, but his career and everything is much bigger than this," said the Canadian.

Rafael Nadal intends to attend the Champions League final between his beloved Real Madrid and Liverpool, despite the ongoing French Open.

Paris' Stade de France plays host to the Champions League showpiece on Saturday, with Madrid aiming for a 14th European Cup as Liverpool look to add to their EFL Cup and FA Cup successes this season.

Meanwhile, across the city in the French capital, Nadal remains in contention at Roland Garros after defeating Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3 6-2 6-4 on Friday.

Madrid great Zinedine Zidane was in attendance as the Spaniard cruised to victory, with the 35-year-old setting up a last-16 clash with Felix Auger-Aliassime.

While Nadal did not get to converse with Zidane, he was aware of the Frenchman's presence as the record 21-time grand slam winner outlined his plans to make the short trip to support Carlo Ancelotti's Madrid.

"I didn't see him, but I knew it was him, I knew he was there because I was listening to the crowd shouting his name all the time," Nadal told reporters when asked about Zidane. 

"So I imagine he was there, but I didn't have the chance to see him after my match or talk with him at all.

"Tomorrow, let's see how I wake up, because, you never know with my body how the surprises are there.

"But if nothing happens, and I expect nothing happens, and if I'm able to have the right practice tomorrow, my intention and my goal is to be there [at the Stade de France]."

Novak Djokovic hopes to have his visa reinstated so he can return to feature at the Australian Open following a change of government Down Under.

Djokovic eased to a 6-3 6-3 6-2 victory over Aljaz Bedene at the French Open on Friday to set up a last-16 clash with Diego Schwartzman.

The world number one remains on course to meet record 21-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros, in what is the Serbian's first major of the year.

Djokovic was banned from playing at the Australian Open in Melbourne and was deported from the country due to his unvaccinated COVID-19 status in January.

The 34-year-old cannot be granted another visa for three years due to Australia's immigration laws, but former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison previously suggested he could be allowed entry sooner under the "right circumstances".

Djokovic hopes the arrival of new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will boost his visa-related hopes of featuring in Melbourne at the start of 2023.

"In terms of the government, yes, I heard the news, but, I mean, I don't know anything about whether my visa is going to be reinstated or whether I'm going to be allowed to come back to Australia," he told reporters.

"I would like to. I would like to go there and play Australian Open. I don't hold any grudges. Look, you know, it was what it was.

"If I have an opportunity to go back to Australia and play a place where I made the biggest success in my career in Grand Slams, I would love to come back."

As for the next clash with Schwartzman as Djokovic aims to equal Nadal's 21 grand slams, the Serbian is expecting a tough test in Paris.

"Well, he's one of the quickest players we have on tour, and his best results in his career came on clay, so of course he's a tough opponent without a doubt," he added. 

"I know him well. We played some really good matches on different surfaces. So playing against him, you always have to expect another ball coming back. I'm ready for the physical battle.

"I haven't spent too much time on the court. I have been striking the ball really well, so I look forward to that challenge."

Angelique Kerber crashed out at the third round of the French Open as Aliaksandra Sasnovich claimed another scalp on Friday.

Three-time grand slam winner Kerber headed to Paris as the 21st seed but in good form after victory at the Internationaux de Strasbourg last week.

Kerber, whose last major title came at Wimbledon in 2018, made it seven straight clay-court wins for the first time in her professional career after defeating Elsa Jacquemot on Wednesday at Roland Garros.

However, Sasnovich – who defeated US Open winner Emma Raducanu in the previous round – proved a step too far for 21st seed Kerber, who fell to a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) loss on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

World number 47 Sasnovich next faces Italy's Martina Trevisan, whose best result at a grand slam was the quarter-finals at this competition two years ago.

Trevisan became the first Italian female player to win eight or more matches in a row since Francesca Schiavone in 2017 by defeating Daria Saville 6-3 6-4 in the third round.

Meanwhile, American teenager Coco Gauff negotiated past Kaia Kanepi 6-3 6-4 to tee up a fourth-round clash with 31st seed Elise Mertens, who was a 6-2 6-3 winner over Varvara Gracheva.

Rafael Nadal eased into the last 16 at the French Open as he cruised to a 6-3 6-2 6-4 victory over Botic van de Zandschulp on Friday.

Nadal breezed past Jordan Thompson and Corentin Moutet to reach the third round, where the Spaniard had few difficulties on Court Suzanne-Lenglen against world number 29 Van de Zandschulp.

The pair exchanged breaks to begin the match, but the 13-time winner at Roland Garros soon took control as he only lost four points on his service in the first set, all of which came in the first game.

Van de Zandschulp continued to struggle in the second set as Nadal triumphed in a lengthy third game to break again, before following suit in the Dutchman's next service to further his advantage en route to taking a two-set lead.

World number five Nadal again opened the third set by battling to break Van de Zandschulp twice and had the opportunity to go 5-0 up with points in hand.

The Dutchman fought back to win three straight games before claiming another, leaving the set finely poised at 5-4 to Nadal.

However, the 35-year-old Nadal regained his composure to wrap up victory and will next face Felix Auger-Aliassime, who defeated Filip Krajinovic.

Data Slam: Nadal on course for Djokovic meeting

Only Novak Djokovic (325) and Roger Federer (369) have more grand slam match wins than Nadal (301), who remains on course to meet the world number one in the quarter-final.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal – 25/13
Van de Zandschulp – 19/31

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 2/1
Van de Zandschulp – 3/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 6/12
Van de Zandschulp – 2/3

Novak Djokovic cruised to a straight-sets win over Aljaz Bedene in the third round of the French Open, beating the Slovenian 6-3 6-3 6-2 to set up a last-16 clash with Diego Schwartzman.

Serbian star Djokovic, who is bidding to become the first player other than Rafael Nadal to win consecutive men's singles titles at Roland Garros since Gustavo Kuerten triumphed in 2000 and 2001, produced a ruthless display to blow away world number 195 Bedene in just one hour and 44 minutes.

Djokovic started as he meant to go on, launching an onslaught which forced Bedene to save five break points throughout his first two service games, before the Slovenian finally succumbed to a break in his third.

The top seed was virtually perfect on his own serve, winning 94 per cent of points on first serve in the opening set before picking up another decisive break just three games into the second.

Despite appearing to struggle with the glare at times on a sun-bathed Court Philippe-Chatrier, Djokovic continued his professional display to move closer to victory, recording just three unforced errors to his opponent's 13 in the second set.

To the delight of some in the crowd, Bedene forced his first and only break point of the encounter in the opening game of the third set, only for Djokovic to power a fierce volley past the 32-year-old before recovering to hold serve.

The world number one did not look back from there, breaking to love in the fourth game before wrapping up a routine win after forcing two match points on Bedene's serve to set up a seventh career meeting with Schwartzman, against whom he boasts a 100 per cent record.

Data Slam: Dominant Djokovic wraps up another straight-sets win

The world number one looks to be hitting form at the perfect time after a troubled start to the year: Djokovic has won 19 straight sets of tennis since the start of the Internazionale d'Italia earlier this month, recording a series of perfect displays since his Madrid Open final loss to Carlos Alcaraz.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Djokovic 30/18
Bedene 23/37

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Djokovic 9/1
Bedene 4/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Djokovic 5/11
Bedene 0/1

Irina-Camelia Begu issued an apology after a racquet she threw into the ground bounced into the crowd and struck a child at the French Open.

The Romanian was playing in a second-round match against Ekaterina Alexandrova and was down a break in the third set when the incident happened.

The match was suspended as the young boy, who was sitting near the umpire's chair, was left in tears and being comforted by his parents.

Begu was issued a warning but avoided a default and went on to win the match 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-4.

She later posed for pictures with the boy and said sorry for her moment of frustration at a post-match news conference.

"Well, it's an embarrassing moment for me, so I don't want to talk too much about it. I just want to apologise," she said.

"My whole career I didn't do something like this, and I feel really bad and sorry. So I'm just going to say again, sorry for the incident and it was just an embarrassing moment for me.

"It was a difficult moment because I didn't want to hit that racquet. You hit the clay with the racquet, but you never expect [it] to fly that much."

A statement circulated by the French Tennis Federation from tournament referee Remy Azemar said: "The grand slam supervisor spoke with the parents who were with the child. The parents confirmed that the child was fine and not injured."

It said the racquet had "brushed a young spectator".

The incident was reminiscent of the 2020 US Open when men's world number one Novak Djokovic was defaulted when a ball he struck in anger hit a line judge.

Begu faces local favourite Leolia Jeanjean in round three.

Stefanos Tsitsipas called Zdenek Kolar a "complete player", despite ultimately defeating his Czech opponent in the second round of the French Open.

Tsitsipas was relatively untroubled in the first set, but was made to work for the win after that as he and Kolar exchanged one tie-break each before the number four seed finally secured victory with another tie-break in the fourth set, sealing it 6-3 7-6 (10-8) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (9-7).

Kolar is ranked 134th in the world but looked every bit a threat to Tsitsipas on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, hitting 57 winners and succeeding with 29 of 37 net points (78 per cent).

Speaking at a news conference after his win, Tsitsipas explained the difficulties he experienced, saying: "He's someone I knew a little bit. It's never easy playing guys that don't really play on the ATP Tour. You don't really know what to expect. I guess they play more free.

"It's always like this. They really have a nothing-to-lose mentality. It's a different mentality than what we have, I think, which sometimes can really be brutal on the court and create some good tennis.

"He was really pushing a lot today, getting after every ball. His body was behind every ball. Running fast, reacting fast. Good net game. Complete player, I would say. Yeah, it wasn't easy out there to face him and come up with some good solutions."

Tsitsipas - who hit 25 aces - displayed some of his oft-seen frustration as he struggled to stay on top of his opponent, and was asked if his hardest obstacle was Kolar or himself.

"I guess both today," he said. "I had a lot of opportunities, break points, playing quite well, staying within the game. He was coming up with some really good ideas and I think dealt with all of the situations so maturely, not overexaggerating anything. He's an intelligent player, I would say.

"Look, last year there were moments where it was about me and the way I deal with situations on the court, not focusing that much on who is on the other side. It's all about perspective. It's sometimes good to focus on what you are doing, but also if you're not feeling great, you have to see the other side too."

Having rallied from two sets down to beat Lorenzo Musetti in the first round, and now being made to work hard by Kolar, Tsitsipas will now face Mikael Ymer after the Swede beat 29th seed Dan Evans on Thursday.

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