Djokovic in great Paris escape, Nadal cruises

Meanwhile, fourth seed Rafael Nadal literally demolished Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0 6-1 6-0.

As far India was concerned, second seed Sania and Ivan Dodig of Croatia reached the second round of mixed-doubles with a 7-5, 6-3 win over unseeded Croatian pair Darija Jurak and Mate Pavic.

Novak Djokovic struggled his way into the French Open final 16 after a torrid five-set fight with Argentinian Diego Schwartzman.

The fourth-seeded and the reigning champion outscored Putintseva 26-14 in winners, and reached the 73 per cent in winning on first serve, 24 percent higher than Putintseva.

"Today I had experience", Williams told the crowd afterward, "and that helped a lot".

"I have no words to describe the love I have for you", said Mladenovic, who rallied from 5-2 down in the third set to set up a date with defending champion Garbine Muguruza on Monday.

While it took Basilashvili 12 games and 49 minutes just to claim a single game - which spectators greeted with a roar as he stood motionless and straight-faced - Schwartzman not only took the second game of his match against Djokovic, he grabbed the opening set, too.

Schwartzman played well during that stretch, but the No. 2-seeded Djokovic's biggest problem was himself.

He turned to Andre Agassi in a bid to spark a resurgence, the American taking an unpaid role at the French Open - and beyond if Djokovic has his way.

The 36-year-old has yet to drop a set at this tournament and looks to be in excellent form on the Roland Garros clay.

The second seed endured a roller-coaster of an afternoon on Philippe Chatrier court, picking up warnings for his behaviour as his mindset became as gloomy as the weather. "I will be watching in 20 years with all of you guys". As far as I'm concerned, I mean, I hope that that's gonna stay for a long time that we can create something that is going to go long term.

In women's singles Garbine Muguruza showed glimpses of the form that had propelled her to her first Major championship here previous year.

David Goffin and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez both retired hurt and Grigor Dimitrov bowed out, but Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem remain in the hunt for a quarter-final berth.

"I am really happy because I have a really good feeling".

- France's Kristina Mladenovic pulled off a spectacular recovery from 5-2 down in the third set to book a fourth round spot with a 7-5 4-6 8-6 win over American Shelby Rogers.

Goffin was serving for the first set and led 40-0 but allowed Zeballos back into the game.

Goffin caught his foot under the tarp that was folded at the back of the court while chasing down a ball behind the baseline.

Garbine Muguruza celebrates her win over Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva.

Venus Williams is last on the main court, against Elise Mertens.

  • Julie Sanders