Naomi Osaka stages another great escape at Roland Garros

Belarus' Victoria Azarenka in action during her second round match against Japan's Naomi Osaka

The Romanian pushed in the first set but fell 7-6 (2) 6-4. On the women's side, can Simona Halep defend her title?

Top seed Naomi Osaka yesterday staged a second successive great escape at Roland Garros when she battled back from a set and a break down to triumph over Victoria Azarenka 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. On his next opponent Salvatore Caruso, Djokovic said: "I never trained with him either".

Women: 10-Serena Williams (USA) bt Kurumi Nara (Jpn) 6-3, 6-2; Andrea Petkovic (Ger) bt 25-Su-Wei Hsieh (Tpe) 4-6, 6-3, 8-6; Monica Puig (Pur) bt 21-Daria Kasatkina (Rsa) 6-3, 6-1; Irina-Camelia Begu (Rou) bt Karolina Muchova (Cze) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. Osaka has noted the strength shown in a comeback from down 5-1 in the third set to beat Donna Vekic last month to reach her first clay-court semifinal in Stuttgart, Germany.

It's true that her path has gotten much easier, m but she hasn't exactly impressed in the tournament so far. "I really played the right spots", Azarenka said.

Williams hammered 10 aces and 36 winners past world number 238 Nara, who stands a mere 5ft 1in (1.55m).

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Fourth seed Dominic Thiem, from Austria, needed four sets to see off Kazakhstan's Alexander Bulbik 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 7-5.

The Belarusian, who had knocked out 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko in the first round, then saved three set points in the 12th game before Osaka levelled the contest with a pinpoint, down the line victor.

Bublik surprised Thiem with an underarm serve in the first set and frustrated the Austrian with a series of drop shots, spins and volleys.

Halep rediscovered her form to race into a 5-1 third-set lead, but she stumbled again at the finish line and was broken to love when serving for the match for a second time. He advanced to the third round after Kyle Edmund retired from their match with an injury to his left knee.

American teenager Amanda Anisimova is proving to be a jinx at Grand Slam tournaments for Aryana Sabalenka.

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Anisimova is the youngest American woman to get this far at Roland Garros since 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in 1999, and she revealed the three-time French Open victor helped her after a hard recent defeat.

The three-time Roland Garros champion and 23-time grand slam victor will take on fellow American Sofia Kenin in the next round, with Osaka a potential opponent in the quarter-finals. Players like top seed Naomi Osaka also remain alive.

In men's action, top-ranked Novak Djokovic faces 104th-ranked Henri Laaksonen, a "lucky loser" who only entered the draw when another player pulled out.

That ended Osaka's 16-match Grand Slam winning streak, which included titles at the U.S. Open final in September - when she beat Williams in the final - and at the Australian Open in January.

Victoria Azarenka and Australia's Ashleigh Barty eased past Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic nd Serbian Aleksandra Krunic 6-1, 6-1 in the Roland Garros doubles opener.

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