French Open 2023 Day 6: Jessica Pegula ousted in 3rd round, Novak Djokovic advances

Jessica Pegula couldn't repeat her quarterfinal appearance in the French Open. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Jessica Pegula couldn't repeat her quarterfinal appearance in the French Open. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Day 5 French Open recap

The third round of the French Open has been a rough one for the Americans so far. Third-seeded Jessica Pegula fell in straight sets to 28th-seeded Elise Mertens, 6-1, 6-3. It's the fourth time the Belgian has reached the fourth round of a major since 2022, though she has never advanced past it. Mertens is also 3-0 against Pegula head-to-head. Unseeded Peyton Stearns, meanwhile, couldn't upset ninth-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia in a 6-0, 6-1 defeat after Stearns advanced to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her tennis career.

Carlos Alcaraz Garfia moves to fourth round

Men's No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz Garfia cruised to the fourth round of the French Open with a win in straight sets over Denis Shapovalov on Friday. Alcaraz defeated Shapovalov 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to take the win.

Novak Djokovic advances

Novak Djokovic, the No. 3 seed on the men's side, advanced to the fourth round in straight sets (7-6, 7-6, 6-2) over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Friday.

It wasn't the cleanest match for Djokovic, who had six double faults and just one ace. To his credit, Davidovich Fokina looked strong early, narrowly dropping the first two sets before Djokovic found his footing in the final set.

Although Davidovich Fokina couldn't pull off the victory, he pushed Djokovic to his limits. Djokovic's win was the longest straight-sets victory of his career in Grand Slam events.

Sabalenka easily moves on

No. 2-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus made quick work of Russian Kamilla Rakhimova in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. Sabalenka is looking to build on her 2023 campaign after winning the Australian Open in January. This is the furthest she has advanced in the French Open in her career.

“I think every tournament is different," Sabalenka said after the match, "especially Roland Garros is different to the Australian Open, a completely different surface. [But] It’s really good to have a grand slam in your pocket. It gives you so much belief. Hopefully I’ll do well here in Paris."

Rublev upset by Sonego

Seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev fell to unseeded Lorenzo Sonego in five sets after the Italian mounted a wild comeback. Sonego won the final three sets to pull off the victory, 5-7, 0-6, 6-3, 7(7)-6(5), 6-3. It's Sonego's second time making it to the fourth round of the French Open. He has never advanced further.

How did the Americans do?

• After Pegula and Stearns stumbled early, Sloane Stephens defeated Yulia Putintseva in three sets (6-3, 3-6, 6-2). With the win, Stephens is one of four American women left at the event. No. 6 Coco Gauff is the highest-ranked American women still in contention. Gauff will play her Round 3 match Saturday.

• No other Americans are set to play Friday.

Notable upsets

• Pegula and Rublev represented the biggest upsets of the day.

• No. 13 Hubert Hurkacz was upset by Juan Pablo Varillas on Friday. Hurkacz and Varillas went the distance, playing five sets before Hurkacz was eliminated (3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 4-6, 6-2).

• Lorenzo Musetti defeated Cameron Norrie in straight sets Friday (6-1, 6-2, 6-4). It was technically an upset, though the two were ranked similarly coming into the match. Musetti entered the French Open at No. 17. Norrie was ranked No. 14.

• Unranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated No. 28 Anatasia Potapova in three sets (4-6, 6-3, 6-0).

• Unranked Karolína Muchová defeated No. 27 Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets (6-3, 6-2).

Other results

• No. 5 ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas dispatched unranked Diego Schwartzman in straight sets (6-2, 6-2, 6-3).

It took a fourth-set tiebreaker, but 11th-seeded Karen Khachanov moved on in a thrilling 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 7(7)-6(5) victory over Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis. Khachanov has advanced to the semifinals of his past two Grand Slams and has made it to at least the fourth round in six French Open appearances.

• Unseeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia took down fellow countrywoman and 24th-seeded Anastasia Potapova in a comeback win, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.

What to watch on Day 7

• On the men's side, No. 4 Casper Ruud and No. 6 Holger Rune will each take the court against unranked opponents. Americans Taylor Fritz (No. 9) and Frances Tiafoe (No. 12), will also play. Tiafoe is the favorite in his match, though he could be tested against No. 21 Alexander Zverev.

• For the women, No. 1 Iga Swiatek and No. 4 Elena Rybakina will be the biggest draws. No. 6 Coco Gauff will also take the court. Following Pegula's disappointing exit, Gauff is the highest ranked American woman left in the French Open.