Men's Round-up: Zverev survives scare, Wawrinka defeats Dimitrov
Alexander Zverev lost a two-set lead but prevailed in five as he beat Dusan Lajovic in the third round of the French Open.
The German fifth seed, who fought his way through a five-set thriller in the opening round, threw away a two-set lead against the 30th seed on Court Simonne Mathieu before setting up a meeting with Fabio Fognini.
"He's been one of the best claycourt players this season, winning his first Masters, so obviously playing great tennis," Zverev, whose best Grand Slam came last year when he reached the last eight at Roland Garros, told reporters of Fognini.
"Beating Rafa there, as well, and I think along the way a lot of good players - so it's going to be a difficult match."
Fognini progressed with a 7-6(5) 6-4 4-6 6-1 victory against Spanish 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
Zverev did not make things easy for himself as he fell 3-1 behind in the opening set before managing to turn things around and take the lead.
He raced through the second only to find himself on the back foot again in the third and fourth as Lajovic forced a decider with temperatures flirting with 30 degrees Celsius - a contrast with the chilly weather in the first week of the tournament.
After an early trade of breaks in the fifth, Zverev finally got his confidence back and finished it off with a whipping forehand, his 52nd winner barely making up for a woeful 55 unforced errors.
Elsewhere 24th seed Stan Wawrinka saw former World no.3 Grigor Dimitrov out of the tournament in straight sets. But the Bulgarian made Wawrinka work for those sets, taking each to a tie-breaker. Wawrinka ultimately won 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (10-8).
"I'm at my best level since my surgery," Wawrinka told a news conference.
Asked whether he was thinking about lifting the Musketeers' Cup again, he replied with a smile: "I'm far away from thinking about that here. Do I think or believe I can do it? Maybe. Who knows? But to win a Grand Slam, it's a long road."
Wawrinka faces 20-year-old rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round.
Ninth seed Fabio Fognini knocked Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut out in the third round after going two sets up and dropping the third, to then fight back in the fourth and win 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
Thirteenth seed Borna Coric battled in vain to see off competition from Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff, who won 4-6 6-1 4-6 7-6 (7-1) 11-9
Austria's Dominic Thiem needed four sets to defeat Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas. The fourth seed won 6-3 4-6 6-2 7-5 as he qualified for the fourth round.
Fourteenth ranked Gael Monfils continued his going showing in front of his home crowd as he defeated his fellow countryman, the unseeded Antoine Hoang. Monfils secured a straight set 6-3 6-2 6-3 win to reach the last 16.
Juan Martin del Potro qualified when he defeated Australia's Jordan Thompson 6-4 6-4 6-0, continuing his tournament despite problems with his knee in his previous match against Yoshihito Nishioka.
Additional reporting by Reuters.
Results: Men's Singles Third Round
9-F. Fognini (ITA) beat 18-R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
5-A. Zverev (GER) beat 30-D. Lajovic (SRB) 6-4 6-2 4-6 1-6 6-2
24-S.Wawrinka (SUI) beat G.Dimitrov (BUL) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (10-8)
6-S.Tsitsipas (GRC) beat F.Krajinovic (SRB) 7-5 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (8-6)
1-N.Djokovic (SRB) beat S.Caruso (ITA) 6-3 6-3 6-2
JL.Struff (GER) beat 13-B.Coric (CRO) 4-6 6-1 4-6 7-6 (7-1) 11-9
14-G.Monfils (FRA) beat A. Hoang (FRA) 6-3 6-2 6-3
4-D. Thiem (AUS) beat P. Cuevas (URU) 6-3 4-6 6-2 7-5
8-J. Del Potro (ARG) beat J. Thomspon (AUS) 6-4 6-4 6-0