Zverev and Djokovic battle through, Thiem beats the rain

Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev battled into round four of the French Open, but Grigor Dimitrov and Pablo Carreno Busta are out.

Alexander Zverev (L) and Novak Djokovic (R)   -  Getty Images

Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic came through staunch tests in the French Open third round, while Dominic Thiem advanced before rain halted play.

World number three Zverev was taken to five sets for the second match in succession and saved match point before beating Damir Dzumhur 6-2 3-6 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-5.

Djokovic, the champion in 2016, came close to falling 2-1 down to Roberto Bautista Agut but managed to seize the momentum and complete a 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 triumph.

Thiem got past Matteo Berrettini 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-2, before inclement weather gave Lucas Pouille time to try to stave off a straight-sets loss to Karen Khachanov and left Gael Monfils' meeting with David Goffin nicely balanced.



Zverev took three hours and 24 minutes to get past Dusan Lajovic on Wednesday and needed half an hour longer than that versus Dzumhur on Friday, but he is not worried about having spent so long on court already.

"I'm trying to win matches. If it takes me three sets, great. If it takes me five sets, that's also great. But I'm trying to win. That's all that matters," insisted Zverev.

"It doesn't matter how long it goes. It doesn't matter how much time I'll spend on court. It doesn't matter if it goes 9-7 in the fifth or it goes 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. For me it's the same."



It was far from plain sailing for Djokovic against Bautista Agut and a second-set tie-break loss resulted in the Serbian losing his temper. His racquet bore the brunt of his anger.

Asked about whether such a release can be useful, Djokovic joked: "Trust me, in that moment when I do it, I don't think about how it can help me!"

The 20th seed will face a easier test than he might have expected in the last 16, with fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov - who announced he will be taking a break from tennis after a poor clay-court season - sent packing in straight sets by Fernando Verdasco.



He may have dropped his serve in the first game of the match, but Thiem enjoyed a fairly routine victory over Berrettini despite letting the second set slip.

The Austrian, a semi-finalist here last year, will take on Monte Carlo Masters runner-up Kei Nishikori in the fourth round.

"He's great top-10 player, and I think now on his way to his top form again. So I'm really looking forward to a tough battle," said Thiem.

Tenth seed Pablo Carreno Busta will not feature in the last 16, though, after he was surprised by Marco Cecchinato 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-1.

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