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Stefanos Tsitsipas will play Czech Zdenek Kolar for the first time on Thursday.

Day 5 Preview: Tsitsipas & Rublev Seek Third Round

#NextGenATP Sinner in action, Simon chases 500th win

The bottom half of the men's singles draw takes the stage on Thursday for the completion of the second round, led by No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev and No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas. Seventh seed Andrey Rublev is also in action, as well as #NextGenATP stars Jannik Sinner and Holger Rune.

Doubles action from the first and second rounds will also dot the grounds, with second seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic playing for a place in the last 16.

[4] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs. Zdenek Kolar (CZE)

Tsitsipas, like Alexander Zverev and Diego Schwartzman did in the second round Wednesday, battled back from two sets down to beat Lorenzo Musetti in his opening match. The Greek dropped 10 of 11 games during a brutal stretch over the course of the first two sets, but found his serve and regrouped to win the final three sets in relatively straightforward fashion.

"I have to really work to get things in life," he said of the match. "Things don't come easy. I refuse to give up. That's simply how it works with me. You never really think about getting back after being two sets to love. You just play it point after point. You just wish that your efforts will pay off on a longer scale, longer run.

"Being in that situation, it's a mountain that you have to climb, and I was able to climb it and regain the momentum steadily but consistently."

By coming back from the brink, Tsitsipas maintained his status as the favourite in the bottom half of the draw as he seeks a repeat of his final run from last year. He also reached the Roland Garros semi-finals in 2021, losing to Novak Djokovic in each of the past two years.

Zdenek Kolar enters this Court Suzanne Lenglen showdown on the heels of what is likely the biggest win of his career, certainly by stage if not by the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Making his Grand Slam debut, he earned his first tour-level win, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, over French wild card and World No. 162 Lucas Pouille. The 25-year-old Kolar qualified for this year's main draw after losing in qualifiers each of the past four years.

[7] Andrey Rublev vs. Federico Delbonis (ARG)

Rublev won the first ATP Head2Head meeting between this pair, which also came at a Grand Slam: Wimbledon 2021, where Delbonis took the opening set but fell in four first-round sets.

Rublev had a similar result against Soonwoo Kwon on Thursday, working his way into the match after dropping the first set of his Roland Garros campaign. He advanced with a 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory.

"I didn't really have confidence, [it] was [the] first match since I lost also first round in Rome," the seventh seed said of that match. "So I was a bit tight. But little by little, I tried to find a way to play better and better... From the beginning till the end, I finished much better than I started."

Delbonis will take to Court Simonne Mathieu full of confidence after a 6-1, 7-6(1), 6-2 first-round win over France's Adrian Mannarino. But the 31-year-old has not managed consecutive victories since he reached the Buenos Aires semi-finals in February.

[2] Daniil Medvedev vs. Laslo Djere (SER)

Laslo Djere won the only previous meeting between the pair, but the victory came via a second-set retirement five years ago in 2017 on the clay of Budapest. The Serbian would reach the Roland Garros third round for the third time if he can pull off the upset on Court Philippe Chatrier; he has not been beyond the second round at any other Grand Slam.

Medvedev picked up his first clay win of the season by beating Facundo Bagnis, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, in the opening round. He returned from a groin injury in time to play Geneva last week, but lost to Richard Gasquet in his opening match.

Far from a clay specialist, the World No. 2 was happy with his win over the Argentine on Tuesday as he seeks to match his quarter-final run from last year in Paris.

"On clay I have to focus even more on myself than on the opponent," he said after downing Bagnis. "Just have to... don't do mistakes. Put the ball in the court. Today I managed to do this well. Feeling good physically, mentally. Ready for next round, which is not going to be easy.

"This year I like my level so far. Of course, then again, it's Grand Slam, can have tougher opponents, can lose second, third round, and you are not going to be happy."

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Best Of The Rest

After Carlos Alcaraz and Brandon Nakashima advanced to the third round on Thursday, Jannik Sinner and Holger Rune can make it four #NextGenATP stars in the last 32. Sinner, seeded 11th, takes on Roberto Carballes Baena as he seeks to match his best run to the 2020 Roland Garros quarters. The unseeded Rune faces Switzerland's Henri Laaksonen after a straight-sets upset of 14th seed Denis Shapovalov in what was the Dane's first match at the clay-court major.

#NextGenATP Player  Previous Match Best RG Result
Carlos Alcaraz, 19 (ESP) d. Ramos-Vinolas (R2) Third Round (2021, 2022)
Brandon Nakashima, 20 (USA) d. Griekspoor (R2) Third Round (2022)
Jannik Sinner, 20 (ITA) d. Fratangelo (R1) Quarter-finals (2020)
Holger Rune, 19 (DEN) d. Shapovalov (R1) Second Round (2022)

On Chatrier, Gilles Simon will play for his 500th win and to further extend his farewell Roland Garros after a five-set upset of 16th seed Pablo Carreno Busta on Tuesday. Another Frenchman, Hugo Gaston, will take to Lenglen to face Pedro Cachin after his own five-set upset against 19th seed Alex de Minaur

In doubles action, Mektic and Pavic carry a 10-match win streak into the second round. The Croatians followed up their Rome and Geneva titles with a straight-sets win over Andre Goransson and Ben McLachlan on Tuesday. They'll face Robin Haase and Raven Klaasen on Court 2.

Sixth seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, winners of four tour-level titles since they joined forces for the first time in January, are also in action against Ramkumar Ramanathan and Hunter Reese.