French Open 2023 Day 5: Coco Gauff, Frances Tiafoe, Iga Swiatek on to round 3; 5-hour, 26-minute match ends in upset

Coco Gauff waved to the crowd after beating Austria's Julia Grabher in their second-round match Thursday at the French Open. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)
Coco Gauff waved to the crowd after beating Austria's Julia Grabher in their second-round match Thursday at the French Open. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The French Open is known for its iconic red clay courts. The unique surface is occasionally even credited for the tournament's unpredictable results. Some top tennis players are familiar with the feeling of playing at Roland-Garros' crushed white limestone, which is actually red due to the dust from brick. U.S. stars aren't as likely to have that level of comfort.

"I'm a true American. I grew up playing on hard courts," 19-year-old sensation Coco Gauff told reporters Thursday after a win. Still, she said she feels smooth and at home in Paris.

She had the opportunity to feel out the surface in France with tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou when she was 10 years old and has returned to train for a few weeks every year since. That extra experience was on display Thursday, as the No. 6 seed sailed into the third round. Three of the men's top 16 seeds are American, and they were all in action on Day 5 as well. Of that group, Gauff is the only one who has seen Roland Garros' round of 16. As her U.S. peers worked to change that, Roland Garros had its share of emotion and excitement, including a notably long upset and an especially young qualifier's ongoing success.

How did the Americans do?

  • Coco Gauff def. Austria's Julia Grabher 6-2, 6-2.

  • No. 12 Frances Tiafoe def. Aslan Karatsev 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-2. This is Tiafoe's first time advancing to the third round of the French Open

  • American No. 9 Taylor Fritz def. local favorite Arthur Rinderknech 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4. On to the third round for the second time in his career, Fritz hushed the booing crowd.

  • Kayla Day def. No. 20 Madison Keys in an All-American upset 6-2, 4-6, 6-4

  • Tommy Paul was eliminated from the tournament with a loss to Chile's Nicolas Jarry 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 7-5

Notable upsets

  • Daniel Altmaier beat No. 8 seed Jannik Sinner in the longest match in this tournament so far. The 5-hour, 26-minute upset is the fifth-longest match in Roland Garros history.

  • Tennis fans in the stadium applauded Altmaier with a standing ovation after he won 6-7 (0), 7-6 (7), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5.

  • The German, ranked No. 70 in the world, wiped tears from his face as he looked into the adoring crowd ahead of the post-match interview.

  • Bernarda Pera completed a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over 22nd-seed Donna Vekic.

  • Tomás Martín Etcheverry def. No. 18 seed Alex De Minaur 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-3.

  • Marcos Giron def. Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

Highlight of the day

  • 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva defeated France's Diane Parry 6-1, 6-2.

  • The No.143-ranked teenager from Russia is the youngest player to reach the third round since 15-year-old Sesil Karatantcheva made the 2005 quarterfinals.

  • Andreeva is the seventh player in the past 30 years to make the third round before turning 17.

Other results

  • One day after her 22nd birthday, Iga Swiatek def. 102nd-ranked American Claire Liu 6-4, 6-0. The Polish star showcased her Taylor Swift fandom with a message on a broadcast camera after her 30th match win of the year. "I'm feeling 22! #Swiftie," she wrote. She later told reporters that Swift helped her navigate youth and learning English.

  • No. 7 Ons Jabeur def. Océane Dodin 6-2, 6-3.

  • Thiago Seyboth Wild def. Guido Pella 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

  • No. 15 Borna Coric def. Pedro Cachín 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

  • No. 4 Casper Ruud def. Giulio Zeppieri 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.

  • No. 4 Elena Rybakina def Linda Noskova 6-3, 6-3.

What to watch on Day 6

Friday will feature two of the favorites for the Coupe des Mousquetaires. It was a shock to fans when Novak Djokovic and Carlos Aclaraz were placed in the same half of the bracket, and their seemingly inevitable semifinals clash is quickly approaching.

  • No. 3 Novak Djokovic vs. Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina

  • No. 1 Carlos Aclaraz vs. Denis Shapovalov

  • No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Diego Schwartzman

There will also be a few interesting matches featuring U.S. women:

  • No. 3 Jessica Pegula vs. Belgium's Elise Mertens

  • Peyton Stearns vs. No. 9 Daria Kasatkina of Russia

  • Sloane Stephens vs. Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva