Caroline Garcia reassuring, Novak Djokovic too strong for Corentin Moutet… What to remember from Friday’s matches

The Tricolores experienced mixed fortunes in the second round of the Roman tournament on Friday, while most of the headliners passed.

France Télévisions – Sports Editorial



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Caroline Garcia during her match against Wang Xinyu in the second round of the Madrid tournament, April 26, 2024. (GUSTAVO VALIENTE / XINHUA)

After the withdrawal of the French number 1, Ugo Humbert, his runner-up Adrian Mannarino took the door in the second round of the Masters 1000 in Rome, Friday May 10. Terence Atmane continues his great week in Rome and will meet world number 10 Grigor Dimitrov in the next round. Caroline Garcia met Danielle Collins in the third round, while Varvara Gracheva and Océane Dodin were eliminated without being able to fight.

As for the headliners, Alexander Zverev (5th) and Jelena Ostapenko (10th) passed the second round without trembling, like Grigor Dimitrov and Novak Djokovic (1st), against Corentin Moutet. Ons Jabeur (9th) and Casper Ruud were eliminated prematurely.

Atmane continues, Moutet and Mannarino eliminated

Adrian Mannarino (21st), far from his best level, was swept away by Zhizhen Zhang (56th) in just over an hour of play (6-1, 6-3). Obviously not at his best physically, the Frenchman was dominated in all sectors of the game and suffered a fifth loss in a row. The Frenchman said he should not participate in the Olympics: “If I don’t win Roland-Garros, I don’t think I will participate.”

The form is there for Terence Atmane (137th), who takes advantage of the abandonment of Lorenzo Musetti (29th), due to an intestinal virus and fever, to reach the third round. He won the first set before his opponent threw in the towel (7-5, 1-0 ab.).

Corentin Moutet, 83rd in the world, suffered the wrath of world number 1, Novak Djokovic, who swept him away in two sets (6-3, 6-1) to qualify for the 3rd round. Trailing 3-1, the Serb then won five games in a row to complete the first round in 44 minutes. The Frenchman was content to put on a show, even going so far as to turn off his phone which was ringing when serving. Enough to make Novak Djokovic smile, not at all worried afterwards. VSix-time winner of the Roman tournament, “Djoko” only left one game to his discouraged opponent in the second round.

Caroline Garcia serious, Gracheva and Dodin helpless

Caroline Garcia (23rd) was scared in the second round, but the Frenchwoman provided the essentials against Elisabetta Cocciaretto (56th). After a largely dominated first set (6-2 in 34 minutes) – where she only conceded three points on her serve – the best Habs were led 3-0 then 5-2 in the second act. Without panicking, Caroline Garcia even saved a set point in favor of the Italian, before concluding the match in the tie-break (7-6), and thus winning a fifth victory in as many matches on clay against to this opponent. She will find Danielle Collins (15th), who eliminated her in the quarter-finals of the Miami tournament at the end of March, in the third round.

The other French women were not able to fight in the second round. Varvara Gracheva (88th) was dominated by the Greek Maria Sakkari (8th) in two dry sets (6-2, 6-2). The Tricolor of Russian origin, coming out of qualifying, was unable to do anything against the recent finalist from Indian Wells. For her part, Océane Dodin (73rd) could not even defend her chances. Drafted at the last minute after the withdrawal of the title holder Elena Rybakina, the Lille native was forced to give up at the end of the first round against the Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu (161st), after less than half an hour of play ( 5-2, ab.).

Alexander Zverev there, not Casper Ruud

The nice French surprise of the week, Terence Atmane, will have a lot to do in the third round since he will face Grigor Dimitrov (10th), who erased Yoshihito Nishioka (80th) without blinking (7-5, 6-4). Back in the world top 10, the elegant Bulgarian showed himself masterful on his plays (83% of points won on serve), distributing the game with skill and efficiency (32 winning shots for only 10 unforced errors).

Alexander Zverev (5th) was just as solid against Aleksandar Vukic (70th), even showing himself quickly in the first set before resisting the aggressiveness of the Australian in the second set (6-0, 6-4). Casper Ruud did not have the same success. The Norwegian, 7th in the world, bit the dust as soon as he entered the Masters 1000 in Rome against the Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic (0-6, 6-4, 6-4). Finalist of the last two Roland-Garros, he had nevertheless started his season on clay by reaching the final of the Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo and winning the Barcelona tournament.

In the women’s draw, Ons Jabeur (9th) fell back into trouble against Sofia Kenin (58th), who beat her after 2h19 of play (7-5, 2-6, 6-4). The Latvian Jelena Ostapenko (10th) easily disposed of Anastasia Potapova (43rd) (6-4, 6-2).

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