Williams is closing in! She breaks again to go 5-4 up in the second.
Collins droops a tame second serve into the net to go 0-30 down and Serena senses the kill, setting up three break points with a driven forehand volley from Collins’ defensive lob and taking the first of them. Williams about to serve for the match.
Williams starts the eighth with two service winners before the drama builds with a Serena forehand which smashes into the net but drops back on her own side. But 30-15 quickly becomes ‘Jeu Williams’ as she wins the next two points. There’s another shout of satisfaction: 4-4.
Medvedev beats Opelka! 6-2, 6-4, 6-2
The second seed drops just eight games on the way to victory. It’s a dominant display and on he goes to the next round.
Meanwhile, it’s Collins’ turn to get frustrated now as she aims a little kick at her racket on the way to being broken in game seven. Williams now serving to level the second set up at 4-4.
Williams is now into full gee herself up mode, shouting ‘c’mon’ very loudly several times as she comes back from 0-15 to win the sixth with four straight points. Collins’ lead in the second is cut to 4-1.
Back to the Mededev game briefly and the second seed is serving to win the match against Opelka. They’ve been on court just 96 minutes.
Collins has all the momentum now. She wins the fifth game to love (that’s eight points in a row) to leap into a 4-1 lead in set two.
Collins looks to be sensing something here as she puts away a volley to take the opening point on Serena’s serve. Williams wins the next three before applauding Collins’ deft drop shot at 40-15. Williams then looks rather deflated as the younger American powers a backhand down the line to force deuce and Collins cashes in, forcing a break and then benefitting from a fourth Williams double fault.
Collins leads 3-1 in the second set and has the break.
Williams berates herself for a loose cross-court backhand which sails way out, giving Collins a 2-1 lead.
The total points count, if that really means much, is close: Williams 41, Collins 40.
Williams breaks Collins in the opening game of the second set but she’s still hitting the odd strange shot and her opponent has three break points to hit back in kind. Collins takes the third one although is handed it via a Serena double fault. 1-1.
Medvedev has a break in the third set against Opelka and now leads 3-1. It seems there is little the 32nd seed can do after winning just seven games so far.
Another seed with a two-set lead is Carreno Busta (12), who takes the second 6-4, just as he did the first. Johnson just serving at the start of the third.
Back out to Court Suzanne-Lenglen and Medvedev is now two sets up (6-4, 6-2) against Opelka. Everything ticking along nicely for the second seed. It’s 1-1 in the third.
Williams takes the first set against Collins, winning it 6-4 in 41 minutes.
A pair of double faults – her first of the contest – leave Serena looking shaky at 0-30 but, helped by a fifth ace at 30-30, she reels off the next four points to see it out.
Williams has a break point in the eighth but Collins holds firm to stay in the set. Serena now serving to win it. She’s hit four aces so far.
Thanks Luke. Just checking and Serena Williams hasn’t won a Grand Slam since the 2017 Australian Open.
It’s dangerous to write these sporting legends off though. Who would have thought at the start of 2019 that the next couple of seasons would bring major wins for Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson?
Serena keeps getting to semis and finals although she’s not done much here in recent years admittedly.
And with that, I will love you (in a tennis sense) and leave you. David Tindall will guide you through the rest of the afternoon’s action. If you get a chance to catch the highlights or a replay of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina’s five-set epic against Casper Ruud, make sure you do it! It was ace. Over to you, David.
Opelka holds for 5-2. Williams and Collins, meanwhile, are with serve at 3-3 in the first. On Court Simonne Mathieu, Pablo Carreño Busta (12) leads Steve Johnson 4-2 in the second set, having taken the first 6-4.
Medvedev leads Opelka 5-1, closing on a two-set lead in under an hour. Opelka booms down a couple of big serves as he tries to stay in the second set.
Giron hits back against Garin on Court 7 and takes the second set 7-5. Garin won the first 6-1.
Out on Court 14, another women’s singles match has just got under way: Sorana Cirstea (ranked 54) v Daria Kasatkina (ranked 37).
Williams and Collins are locked at 2-2 in the first on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
Medvedev breezes to a 3-0 lead in the second set against the man-mountain Opelka.
Medvedev is outclassing Opelka, he’s 2-0 up in the second set, having taken the first 6-4.
Williams, meanwhile, makes Collins work to hold her second service game of the match. Collins, who is ranked 50, eventually does so and leads 2-1 in the first, with serve.
The seventh seed Serena Williams – three times a women’s singles champion at Roland Garros – is on court and in action against Danielle Rose Collins, who also hails from the USA.
Collins has held serve and is 1-0 up so far, with Williams in her first service game as I type.
Medvedev wins the first set, 6-4. His opponent Reilly Opelka is 6’11” tall, by the way. He’s sporting an eye-catching pink outfit with a white cap. He is the joint-tallest player ever on the ATP Tour, tied with Ivo Karlovic. Beat that!
Medvedev will serve for the first set against Opelka. He’d never won a match at Roland Garros before this year. (Thanks Eurosport for the factoid.)
Cristian Garin (seeded 22) took his first set against Marcos Giron, 6-1, and now leads 3-2 in the second. Pablo Carreño Busta, meanwhile, seeded 12th, fought back to win the first set against Steve Johnson, 6-4.
Phew, what a wonderful display. Right – what else is going on? The ice-cool Russian, Medvedev, is 4-3 and a break up against Opelka on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Wow – that was just stunning tennis. Davidovich Fokina produces a huge serve, Ruud can only pat it back long, and Davidovich Fokina sinks to the clay, looking simply stunned at having finally got over the line and achieved a fantastic result against the 15th seed. He’s into the last 16 of a slam for the second time in his career. What a performance! What a match! There is loads of respect between these two young players as they greet each other at the net. A tremendous display from both men. Well played! Davidovich Fokina meets Delbonis in the next round.
Davidovich Fokina saves Ruud’s latest break point with a punishing smash to the body. The crowd are in raptures …
WOW! Davidovich Fokina now jumps into a backhand and smokes it across the court! It’s another match point after 15 minutes of this game … and he’s done it!!!!
Ruud gets back in Davidovich Fokina’s face with two excellent, excellent forehands and gets a break point. Davidovich Fokina tries a cheeky underarm drop serve at break point! Ruud nets the return!
Davidovich Fokina sends that fourth match point long. Deuce No 6. This is draining to watch.
Davidovich Fokina dumps an easy forehand into the net! Back to deuce again … and another massive first serve, and a fourth match point for the Malaga man!
Here’s a report from Tumaini Carayol of today’s action, including Sabalenka’s exit against Pavlyuchenkova:
Back to deuce – Ruud falls over and hits a backhand wide, and it’s another match point for Davidovich Fokina, his third. Can he seal it?
Davidovich Fokina gets a second match point … and hits a forehand into the net, going for glory!
Now a break-back point for Ruud – but Davidovich Fokina cracks an ace down the middle!
“You couldn’t have scripted it any better,” insists the Eurosport man on the mic. Commentary bingo!
Ruud is under all sorts of pressure but tries a lob … Davidovich Fokina slips as he attempts to get back to return it! The umpire comes for a look at the mark, and rules that the lob touched the line. Huge drama!
The 21-year-old Davidovich Fokina, who hails from Malaga, finds a stunning drop shot for match point!
Very, very impressive from the 22-year-old Caspar Ruud, hitting the ball crisply all around the court, moving in behind a big forehand, and earning a break point … but Davidovich Fokina serves big, and it’s deuce!
In this five-set belter, Ruud is 15-30 on Davidovich Fokina’s serve now …
But he mishits a forehand, and it’s 30-30. The young Spaniard is two points away.
Second seed Daniil Medvedevhas begun his third-round match against Reilly Opelka over on Court Suzanne Lenglen. In addition, Pablo Carreno Busta and Steve Johnson are in the first set, with Johnson 4-3 up right now.
Stunning backhand pass from Davidovich Fokina! A fourth break point for the Spaniard … and he makes it! Ruud sends the ball long and Davidovich Fokina can serve for the match.
Cor! Biiiig backhand winner from Davidovich Fokina to bring it back to deuce on Ruud’s serve. And now Ruud earns a third break point of the game against his better-ranked opponent.
So, on Court 14, it’s a real classic unfolding. Ruud (seeded 15) is serving to save a couple of break points against Davidovich Fokina. He wins a long, punishing rally for 30-40, then produced an ace for deuce! The fans are transfixed by this one.
Zverev beats Djere: 6-2, 7-5, 6-2!
C’est ça. Zverev holds to love, and reaches the fourth round for the fourth year in a row. Djere will be kicking himself, still, about that second set. But it’s all good experience.
It’s now 5-5 over on Court 7. “Vamos!” yells Davidovich Fokina as he holds serve.
Djere manages to hold serve. YetZverev will serve for a straight-sets win and a place in the last 16 of the French Open. He is 5-2 up.
Ruud leads 5-4 against Davidovich Fokina, with the latter serving to stay in the match.
Djere has a game point – but double-faults. His body language is awful, he just doesn’t want to be out there anymore, knowing it’s only a matter of time before his misery is ended by Zverev.
Zverev and Djere are at deuce. Zverev can smell blood, and takes on a big backhand after a massive forehand return to start with, but it falls just long.
Zverev eases into a 5-1 third-set lead. He is one game away from the last 16 at Roland Garros.
Ruud and Davidovich Fokina are treating the sodden fans to a classic on Court 14: Ruud leads 4-3 in the fifth and final set. Meanwhile, Marcos Giron and the 22nd seed Cristian Garin have just started their third-round match on Court 7.
This is going to be over fairly quickly, it seems: Zverev has just eased into a 4-1 third-set lead against his demoralised opponent. 6-2, 7-5, 4-1, and Djere (which the commentators are pronouncing ‘Jerry’) is staring down the barrel.