Last year’s runner-up Casper Ruud rallied to defeat Zhang Kaizhen in the third round of the French Open on Saturday, ending a solid run for the Chinese player.
Ruud, the fourth seed, who lost to Rafael Nadal in last year’s final, won 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.
Zhang was the first Chinese to reach the third round at Roland Garros since Khoo Sen-ki in 1937. Khoo also reached the fourth round in 1936, but it was a step too far for Zhang, despite a strong start in Suzanne Court Lenglen.
Zhang broke Ruud in the opener and won the set as the Norwegian grew frustrated.
Things turned sour for Ruud as he found himself 0-40 down on serve early in the second set but mustered his nerve – after a broken set – to level the match on his first chance.
Ruud then improved in the final two sets and sealed the match with a forehand on the line on the first two match points.
The match will be followed by an exciting third round match in which two teenage girls will participate: 19-year-old American Coco Gauff and 16-year-old Russian Mira Andreeva.
But Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina pulled out of the French Open before Saturday’s third-round match because she was ill.
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