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French Open: Gauff advances, Djokovic vs. Nadal looms

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French Open: Gauff advances, Djokovic vs. Nadal looms
American Cori "Coco" Gauff advanced to the fourth round of the 2022 French Open on Friday in Paris. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI | License Photo

May 27 (UPI) -- Cori "Coco" Gauff became one of three American women to advance to the fourth round of the French Open on Friday in Paris. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic also won and remain on track for a premier quarterfinal matchup.

Gauff, the No. 18 seed in the women's singles circuit, beat Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-4 in a match that lasted 83 minutes. The American fired six aces and converted 5 of 10 break points. She will face No. 31 Elise Mertens of Belgium in the fourth round.

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"I knew today was going to be a tough match and I knew I had to earn it," Gauff told Tennis Channel in an on-court interview. "I really did earn it today.

"I'm just glad I could get through it."

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Mertens advanced with a straight-sets win over Russian Varvara Gracheva. Sloane Stephens and No. 27 seed Amanda Anisimova were the other American women who advanced Friday with third-round wins.

No. 17 Leylah Fernandez of Canada beat No. 14 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in three sets. No. 23 Jil Teichmann of Switzerland, Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Russia and Martina Trevisan of Italy were among the other women to win singles matches Friday at Roland Garros.

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Djokovic, the favorite to claim the men's singles title, beat Slovenian Aljaz Bedene in straight sets. The top-seeded Serbian will face No. 15 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina in the fourth round.

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Schwartzman beat No. 15 Grigor Dmitrov of Bulgaria in straight sets. The winner of the Djokovic-Schwartzman match will face Nadal or No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada in the quarterfinals.

Nadal beat No. 26 Botic Van De Zandschulp of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 on Friday at Court Suzanne-Lenglen. The fifth-seeded Spaniard fired 25 winners in that two-hour, 11-minute match.

Auger-Aliassime advanced with a straight-sets win over Serbian Filip Krajinovic.

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Third-round French Open coverage will air through 6 p.m. EDT Friday on NBC's Tennis Channel. Coverage will continue Saturday and Sunday on Tennis Channel, NBC and Peacock.

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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