A WHOPPING 11 of the 16 Round of 64 Roland Garros ATP matches required at least four sets, in an epic day of action in Paris. Six matches went the full five sets, with an additional five going to four and only the five straight sets results. Of those straight sets results, three of the five involved at least one tiebreaker, and the most one-sided result still involved the loser winning between two and four games a set. Throw in a couple of big upsets and the day was perfect for spectators to expect the unexpected.
Cristian Garin was just about ready to pack his bags and depart from Paris when he was two sets to love down and faced two match points in the third set tiebreaker against American qualifier Mackenzie McDonald. The American set up match points at 6-5 and 7-6, before Garin came back to win the last three points of the set and secure the tiebreaker, then posted a 6-3 in the in fourth to level the match. The players went toe-for-toe in the fifth set, with the players going beyond the regulation games for Garin to need to break in the 14th game and secure the five set win, 4-6 4-6 7-6 6-3 8-6. The clay court specialist hit 71 winners to 56, and won 69 to 55 per cent net points, as well as only three more unforced errors (59-53), In what was truly an epic, 354 points were played in four hours and 14 minutes on court.
The biggest upset of the day went to Swiss talent Henri Laaksonen, with the qualifier upstanding the usually consistent 11th seed Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. Laaksonen started strong to win the first set, and whilst Bautista strongly won the second to look like he was going to build all the momentum, Laaksonen found another gear to win in two hours and 21 minutes, 6-3 2-6 6-3 6-2. The Swiss player hit a massive 53 winners to 17, and whilst he also had 18 more unforced errors (43-25), won 42 per cent of his receiving points to Bautista Agut’s 35 per cent, and won 57 per cent of his second serve points – and 74 per cent of his first serve points – to be incredibly hard to move on serve.
The other big upset of sorts was Japan’s Kei Nishikori who fought back from a two sets to one deficit to post an epic win over 23rd seed Russian Karen Khachanov. The 2014 US Open finalist and former Top 5 player showed he still has the potential to match it with the world’s best, winning 4-6 6-2 2-6 6-4 6-4 in three hours and 59 minutes. Nishikori hit 57 winners to 43 and still had three less unforced errors (56-59), with the Japanese talent breaking five times from 19 chances, one more than Khachanov’s four from 12 in a proving break to end the match. Nishikori said he was thrilled with taking down a quality talent in Khachanov.
“Yeah, that part I’m really happy with,” he said post-match. “Comparing the end of the last year with this tournament, I’m playing much better this year and fighting for two four-hour match. I don’t think I could do that last year. “My level was pretty high. “Even though I’m not having great result, I think the Europe season was good for me: Madrid and Rome. I only lost to top-10 players. “You can say I’m not beating Top 10 players right now, but I think things are getting much better for me. “I think I’m on the way to Top 10 again. “Yeah, I’m really enjoying this moment.”
In terms of comebacks, Laslo Djere had to come from the clouds to fend off Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, winning 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-3 after being two sets down in three hours and 31 minutes. Djere powered on after dropping the first two sets, and whilst he hit 12 more unforced errors (56-44), hit a whopping 65 winners to 31 in the impressive performance. The other five-set results were Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina‘s win over Dutch qualifider Botic Van de Zandschulp, 6-4 6-4 5-7 2-6 6-4 to steady in the fifth to avoid a complete disaster, as well as American Steve Johnson‘s three-hour and 49-minute 6-4 6-7 7-6 3-6 6-3 victory over Brazilian Thiago Monteiro to advance to the third round. Argentinian Federico Delbonis also won in an epic against Spaniard Pablo Andujar, 4-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-3.
In more simple results, second seed Daniil Medvedev, 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta and 32nd seed Reilly Opelka advanced through to the third round after dropping a set but posting four-set wins. It was much easier going for fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, sixth seed Alexander Zverev – who was pushed all the way in the first round – 15th seed Casper Ruud, 27th seed Fabio Fognini and 31st seed John Isner who claimed Round of 64 wins in straight sets. Of the other unseeded remaining clash, American Marcos Giron knocked off Argentinian Guido Pella 7-6 6-1 6-7 6-4.
ROLAND GARROS ROUND OF 64 RESULTS:
 Daniil Medvedev (RUS) defeated Tommy Paul (USA) 3-6 6-1 6-4 6-3
 Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Pedro Martinez (ESP) 6-3 6-4 6-3
 Alexander Zverev (GER) defeated [Q] Roman Safiullin (RUS) 7-6 6-3 7-6
[Q] Henri Laaksonen (SUI) defeated  Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 6-3 2-6 6-3 6-2
 Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) defeated [WC] Enzo Coacaud (FRA) 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-4
 Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated [PR] Kamil Majchrzak (POL) 6-3 6-2 6-4
 Cristian Garin (CHI) defeated [Q] Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 4-6 4-6 7-6 6-3 8-6
Kei Nishikori (JPN) defeated  Karen Khachanov (RUS) 4-6 6-2 2-6 6-4 6-4
 Fabio Fognini (ITA) defeated Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 7-6 6-1 6-2
 John Isner (USA) defeated Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 7-6 6-1 6-2
 Reilly Opelka (USA) defeated Jaume Munar (ESP) 6-3 6-2 3-6 7-5
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) defeated [Q] Botic Van de Zandschulp (NED) 6-4 6-4 5-7 2-6 6-4
Federico Delbonis (ARG) defeated Pablo Andujar (ESP) 4-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-2
Laslo Djere (SRB) defeated Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-3
Marcos Giron (USA) defeated Guido Pella (ARG) 7-6 6-1 6-7 6-4
Steve Johnson (USA) defeated Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 6-3 6-7 7-6 3-6 6-3
Picture credit: ATP Tour via Twitter