PARIS: World number one Novak Djokovic and 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer stormed into the third round of the French Open on Thursday.
The Serbian put on a clinical display to stroll past Uruguyan Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 while the Swiss outplayed Marin Cilic in a four-setter 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 .
Cuevas, ranked 92nd, showed flashes of resistance against the 34-year-old Serbian but the top seed raised his game when he needed to and produced some sublime winners off his backhand to keep alive his chase for a 19th Grand Slam title.
Djokovic broke Cuevas's serve a second time to go up 5-3 in the opening set but found himself 0-40 down on his own serve.
The Serbian, however, grabbed the next five points to seal the lead on a sunlit Suzanne Lenglen court.
The 35-year-old Cuevas's challenge fell away as Djokovic broke his opponent's serve three more times to complete the win and set up a clash against Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis, who beat Australian James Duckworth 7-5 2-6 7-6(4) 6-0.
Federer earned the ninth victory over Cilic from ten encounters and the fifth time in a row, all at notable events. The Swiss played better behind the second serve and fired 16 aces, suffering three breaks from eight chances offered to Marin and converting five opportunities on the return that carried him over the top.
Roger fired 47 winners and 27 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and leaving the opponent behind in the shortest range up to four strokes to forge the victory in that segment.
Coco Gauff reached the third round for the first time as the 17-year-old American battled past China's Wang Qiang 6-3 7-6(1).
Gauff eased through the opening set after jumping out to a 3-0 lead but did not have things her own way after that against the player she beat to win the Parma title last month.
After two straight-sets wins she will now face American Jennifer Brady who beat Fiona Ferro 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.
World number six Elina Svitolina wasted little time in advancing to the third round with a 6-0, 6-4 demolition of American Ann Li.
Svitolina, seeking her maiden Grand Slam title, stormed out of the blocks to break Li's serve in the opening game before dictating play from the baseline to consolidate her lead.
World number 75 Li struggled to create opportunities to break the 26-year-old Ukrainian, who won 12 of her 14 first-serve points to claim an opening-set bagel in just 29 minutes on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.
Li got on the scoreboard early in the second set and opened up a surprise 3-0 lead with a string of blistering forehands.
But Svitolina soon found another gear as she reeled off five straight games to book a place in the third round in an hour and 14 minutes.
Last year's runner-up Sofia Kenin eased into the third round with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over fellow American Hailey Baptiste as her claycourt form continued to improve.
The fourth seed, who has been struggling this season, notably losing all of her three matches on clay before Roland Garros, will next face another American, 28th seed Jessica Pegula.
Sloane Stephens stunned 9th seed Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-1.
In men's section, ninth seed Italian Matteo Berrettini defeated Argentina's Federico Coria 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in just under two hours.
The 25-year-old Italian, who recorded his 20th win this year and entered the third round at Roland Garros for the third time, won 82 per cent of his points on first serve and also won 81 per cent of his net points.
Berrettini will face Korean Kwoon Soon-Woo who beat Italy's Andreas Seppi 6-4, 7-5, 7-5. The Korean won 75 per cent of his first service points and converted four break points.
In another matches, 10th seeded David Schwartzman of Argentina beat Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 to enter third round while 14th seed Gael Monfils crashed out losing 0-6, 6-2, 4-6, 3-6 to Mikael Ymer of Sweden in the second round.
Ymer committed more double faults (4) than Monfils (2) and did not hit any ace unlike Monfils (4). He still managed to pull off a victory.
Ymer won 68 per cent of his first service points and converted seven break points while Monfils could convert only four. Agencies