Tennis-Cerundolo downs Fritz to reach second week of slam for first time

  • Tennis
  • Sunday, 04 Jun 2023

Jun 3, 2023; Paris,France; Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) celebrates winning his match against Taylor Fritz (USA) on day seven at Stade Roland-Garros. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Francisco Cerundolo reached the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time on Saturday with a 3-6 6-3 6-4 7-5 win over American ninth seed Taylor Fritz in the third round of the French Open.

The 24-year-old Argentine's first four outings at the majors all ended in first round defeats but this year he has shown improvement.

After a third round showing at the Australian Open, he has now gone one better but dismissed suggestions that he could soon be breaking into the top 10.

"I don't feel like I belong in the top 10 because I'm not even in the top 20," the 23rd seed told reporters.

"I think I'm going to be in the top 20 or probably close to that next week. I'm working to get to that level. I'm closer, but I have to keep going, keep winning and keep improving. So hopefully one day I can be among those top 10 players."

Cerundolo frustrated Fritz with his sharp baseline game to complete victory on Court Suzanne-Lenglen after two hours 50 minutes.

"It was a very tough match. He's a Top 10 player. I knew what kind of match it was going to be," he added.

"The first set was a bit tense. I didn't play well. After that, I started to play better, more aggressive, less mistakes. But, of course, it was a great battle."

Cerundolo, a quarter-finalist at the ATP Masters 1000 events in Miami and Rome this season, will continue his Roland Garros campaign against sixth seed Holger Rune on Monday.

"I played against him in 2019, I think in a Challenger. But now he's a top-10, top-5 guy. He did amazing this last week. Final in Monte Carlo and Rome, title in Munich. He's a great claycourt player, so it's going to be a tough match.

"I hope I can play at the level I've been playing the last few days, because I think I have my chances. I'm going to focus on my game and try to play my best and get the win," he added.

(Reporting by Angelica Medina in Mexico City, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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