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Zverev avoids shock exit in Paris classic

Alexander Zverev raises his racquet in celebration
Alexander Zverev is bidding for a first Grand Slam title, having lost in the 2020 US Open final [Getty Images]

Alexander Zverev reached the French Open last 16 after coming through a nervy five-set thriller against Dutch 26th seed Tallon Griekspoor.

The German fourth seed trailed by a double break at 4-1 in the deciding set before winning 3-6 6-4 6-2 4-6 7-6 (10-3) on Saturday.

The victory came a day after a court case into domestic abuse allegations against Zverev began in Berlin.

The Olympic champion, who denies allegations of physically abusing his former girlfriend, does not have to be present in court and has remained in Paris for the clay-court major.

Zverev, 27, is among the favourites to win the Coupe des Mousquetaires and claim his first Grand Slam title this fortnight.

Before the tournament he insisted the case is "not on my mind" and, after straight-set wins in his opening two matches, did not speak about it further.

Against Griekspoor, Zverev did not produce the same level of consistent ball-striking and looked set to be on the end of a shock result.

But Griekspoor felt the pressure as he tried to serve out what would have been the biggest win of his career.

The 27-year-old had never reached the last 16 of a major before or beaten a top-10 opponent.

Zverev's greater experience showed in a confident match tie-break and he will face Denmark's 13th seed Holger Rune after his 7-5 6-1 7-6 (7-2) win over Slovakia's Jozef Kovalik.

"It was an incredible match and he's an incredible player," said Zverev, who has reached the fourth round at Roland Garros for the seventh consecutive year.

"He is unbelievably dangerous - I don't like to play against him. Credit to him taking it all the way, it was one or two points here and there that made the difference."

Zverev, who tuned up for Roland Garros by winning the Rome title, sealed his ninth straight victory on clay with a 132mph ace down the middle.

He raised both arms aloft and took the acclaim of the Parisian crowd before thanking them for their support.

"To be honest the atmosphere today was unbelievable, I loved every single second of it," Zverev said.

"The support that I get here, I don't think I get at any other Grand Slam so I really appreciate it."

Medvedev through but Shelton out

Earlier, fifth seed Daniil Medvedev overcame a third-set wobble to beat Tomas Machac 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 1-6 6-4 and advance.

The Russian has made no secret of his dislike for clay-courts but arrived in Paris feeling he could do "big things" on the surface.

He had to work hard against Czech Machac, who beat world number one Novak Djokovic in the Geneva Open semi-finals earlier in May.

Medvedev went down an early break in the fourth set before recovering to secure victory and set up a meeting with Alex de Minaur.

Australian De Minaur, seeded 11th, came back to beat Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-3.

But American 15th seed Ben Shelton suffered a comprehensive 6-4 6-2 6-1 loss to Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Auger-Aliassime will have a short turnaround as he takes on third seed Carlos Alcaraz in the third session on Chatrier on Sunday.

Elsewhere, 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov overcame Zizou Bergs on Chatrier 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-4 to set up a fourth-round meeting with Poland's Hubert Hurkacz.

The eighth seed progressed after beating Canada's Denis Shapovalov 6-3 7-6 (7-0) 4-6 6-1.