Richard Gasquet admits to surprising even himself at having won through to the third round without the loss of a set, given he has missed the entire clay-court season leading up to his home Grand Slam event.
The French 12th seed has battled a back injury and is still working his way back to full strength but regrouped after letting a 4-2 first-set lead slip to down free-swinging Argentine Carlos Berlocq 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4 on Philippe Chatrier Court.
Under the new joint-coaching guidance of former players Sebastien Grosjean and Sergi Bruguera, Gasquet now stands one win from equalling his best result at Roland Garros.
“Obviously playing here just carries you. It's the second time this year, and I have some experience. And with the crowd supporting you, it's great. It was packed today. It helped me find a second stamina,” Gasquet said. “I have been playing for 10 years, I have gathered experience, and when you're injured for two months, it's huge already. It's awesome to be in the third round.”
Later on Suzanne Lenglen Court, Gasquet’s countryman, 23rd seed Gael Monfils continued the strong run for the home hopes on the main courts; the Frenchman easing past German Jan-Lennard Struff after a tense first set, 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1 to secure a third-round match-up with 14th seed Fabio Fognini. The Italian earlier accounted for Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(2).
Spanish 24th seed Fernando Verdasco rallied back from two sets down to push past Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas 4-6, 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 in a four-hour struggle on Court No.2. The Spaniard finished with 63 winners and will meet Gasquet in the third round.
Huge-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic ensured his best finish at Roland Garros, backing up his upset of 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 win over Austrian Andreas Hairder-Maurer, while Spaniard Guillermo Garciz-Lopez backed up his seeded slaying of No.3 Stan Wawrinka with a four-set triumph over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.
German 28th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber progressed to a third-round showdown with seventh seed Andy Murray after a comprehensive 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-2 victory over Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin.
Italian 32nd seed Andreas Seppi will meet Spanish fifth seed David Ferrer in the third round after breezing past Argentine Juan Monaco 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, while Monaco’s countryman Leonardo Mayer took out Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Donald Young upset Spanish 26th seed Feliciano Lopez in the battle of the lefties, 6-3, 7-6(1), 6-3, with Jack Sock later ensuring there would be three American men in the third round after winning an all-U.S. affair with Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-4, 6-2.
South African 19th seed Kevin Anderson made short work of French wildcard Axel Michon 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, while a new Serbian name on the block, Dusan Lajovic made it to his first Grand Slam third round with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 result against Estonian Jurgen Zopp.