Paris, FRANCE - Scoring style points in Paris, while also winning actual tennis points and matches, Casper Ruud (NOR), Elena Rybakina (KAZ), and Daniel Altmaier (GER), led the way as Team Yonex continued to impress at Roland-Garros.
From Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) achieving one of the most spectacular and emotional wins of his career to Qualifier Clara Tauson (DEN) breaking new ground, here are some of the highlights from the Yonex athletes in the second round.
Ruud looking classy on the clay
Dressed from head to toe in Yonex, Casper Ruud looked the part in his second-round appearance at Roland-Garros. And with the 2023 Paris Collection built for performance as well as style, the Norwegian produced a level of clay-court tennis that showed why he reached his first Grand Slam final in Paris last season. The World No. 4, who is seeking his first major title, advances to the third round after defeating Italy’s Giulio Zeppieri, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.
Rybakina wins all-Yonex showdown
There was no more stylish occasion in the second round than when Elena Rybakina met Linda Noskova (CZE), with both athletes dressed head-to-toe in Yonex while swinging Yonex racquets.
It was a match high on skill and technical excellence, as was expected from a meeting between the Grand Slam Champion Rybakina and Noskova, a Czech teenager who was the Junior Champion at Roland-Garros in 2021. It was Rybakina who progressed 6-3, 6-3, extending her winning streak to eight matches.
Altmaier’s epic upset
Everything about Daniel Altmaier's second-round victory over Jannik Sinner, the World No. 8 from Italy, was on a grand scale. Lasting five hours and 26 minutes, it was the longest match of this year's Roland-Garros so far. It was also big on drama and emotion and significance with the German, who has a head-to-toe deal with Yonex, saving two match points to upset Sinner with a 6-7(0), 7-6(7), 1-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 victory. While making the third round at Roland-Garros wasn't new for Altmaier, doing so like this certainly was.
Wild times for Kokkinakis
Feeding off the energy of the crowd at Roland-Garros, wild card Thanasi Kokkinakis delivered one of the most spirited performances of his career to defeat former men's singles champion Stan Wawrinka (SUI) in a five-set, second-round thriller. Just as Kokkinakis' friend Nick Kyrgios had predicted, this meeting of two Yonex players was a 'popcorn match' that captivated Parisians and everyone watching around the world.
As the tension, noise and entertainment built over four and a half hours, Kokkinakis was "loving the atmosphere" and the Australian won 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3 to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in eight years. Kokkinakis faces Karen Khachanov next and looks to make a career-best run at a Grand Slam.
Qualifier Tauson breaks new ground
Showing poise as well as power on the clay, Clara Tauson (DEN) is into the last 32 at Roland-Garros for the first time. The 20-year-old Danish qualifier beat Canada's Leylah Fernandez 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in a repeat of the 2019 Australian Open Junior Singles Final. If Tauson can beat Elina Avanesyan, she will reach the last 16 for what would be her deepest ever run at a Grand Slam.
Ultimate challenge awaits for Shapovalov
Through to the third round for the first time, Denis Shapovalov now has the ultimate test at Roland-Garros: a match against Carlos Alcaraz, the World No. 1 from Spain. The left-handed Canadian pulled off a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Italy's Matteo Arnaldi.
Pegula keeps her dream alive
Jessica Pegula's dream of becoming the first American women's champion at Roland-Garros in eight years moved another round closer to reality with the World No. 3 reaching the last 32. A quarterfinalist in Paris last season, Pegula won the opening set against Camila Giorgi before the Italian retired from their second-round match due to injury. Pegula has shown outstanding consistency - this is the seventh major in a row where she has advanced into the third round.
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) | EZONE 98[LINK]
Jessica Pegula (USA) | EZONE 98[LINK]