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French Open tennis: Djokovic, Zverev, Gauff advance; Sakkari upset

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French Open tennis: Djokovic, Zverev, Gauff advance; Sakkari upset
American Cori "Coco" Gauff (pictured) hits a shot against Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium at the 2022 French Open on Wednesday at Roland Garros in Paris. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI | License Photo

May 25 (UPI) -- No. 3 Alexander Zverev of Germany held off unseeded Argentine Sebastian Baez in a three-hour, 36-minute tennis thriller, while two top women's players suffered upset losses at the French Open on Wednesday in Paris.

"This is the worst he [Baez] will probably ever feel on a tennis court right now, this moment," Zverev said in his on-court interview. "It was such an incredible match, and I know it just too well because I lost the U.S. Open final from being two sets to love up.

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"You always get better from it and I wish him nothing but the best. He's an unbelievably great kid, and he's going to do a lot of great things in this sport I think."

Just five Top 10 players remain in the women's singles draw. All of the Top 10 men's seeds remain active in the tournament. No. 4 Maria Sakkari of Greece and No. 12 Emma Raducanu of the United Kingdom were the latest top women's players to exit.

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Unseeded Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic eliminated Sakkari in straight sets Wednesday on Court Suzanne Lenglen. Earlier Wednesday, unseeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus upset Raducanu 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 on the same surface at Roland Garros.

"She played an amazing match," Sakkari told reporters. "She always plays extremely well in Grand Slams. Today she was the better player. I tried and fought until the last point. It didn't go my way."

Zverev nearly joined the group of early departures, but used seven break points and fired a dozen aces and 42 winners in his comeback victory on Court Philippe-Chatrier. He won the second-round match 2-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 7-5. Baez did not log an ace, but converted five break points and fired 38 winners.

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Zverev will face American Brandon Nakashima in the third round.

No. 13 Taylor Fritz, the highest-seeded American man, also exited early. Unseeded Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles beat Fritz 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

No. 15 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, No. 17 Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada and No. 18 Cori "Coco" Gauff on the United States were among the top women's players to advance through Wednesday morning's early second-round matches.

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"I was just fighting for every point," Gauff told Tennis Channel. "I didn't play so well in the second set. ... Today I think was just an ugly win."

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No. 27 Amanda Anisimova and unseeded Sloane Stephens were among the other American women to advance to the third round.

No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada and No. 10 Cameron Norrie of the United Kingdom were among the top-seeded men to advance to the third round of the singles circuit. Nakashima and No. 23 John Isner were among the Americans who won second-round matches early Wednesday in Paris.

Second-round coverage will air until 6 p.m. EDT Wednesday on Tennis Channel and continue from 5 a.m. through 6 p.m. Thursday on the same network. The women's singles final will air at 9 a.m. June 4 on NBC. The men's singles final will air at 9 a.m. June 5 on NBC.

Moments from the French Open tennis tournament

Rafael Nadal of Spain holds his trophy after his French Tennis Open's final match against Casper Ruud of Norway, at Roland Garros, outside Paris, France, on Sunday, June 5, 2022. Nadal won the title 6-3, 6-3, 6-0. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI | License Photo

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