French Open headlines and sidelines - Day 5

Good news: Serena Williams could be seeded at US Open

French Open headlines and sidelines on Thursday, the fifth day of the 2018 tournament:


+ Serena battles back from set down to beat Barty

+ Nadal sets up Gasquet meeting, leads Frenchman 15-0 in head-to-head

+ Sharapova sees off Vekic to close in on Serena clash

+ Cilic scrapes past Polish qualifier

+ Muguruza, Pliskova into last 32

+ Shapovalov knocked out by Marterer


Strong genes

-- Mischa Zverev joined younger brother Alexander in round three by beating Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-3, 6-7 (0/7), 7-6 (7/2), 6-1 on Thursday. It is the first time there have been two brothers in the last 32 at Roland Garros since Americans Gene and Sandy Mayer in 1979.

Benneteau bows out

-- Home favourite Julien Benneteau bid farewell to the French fans as his final French Open campaign before retirement ended with a straight-sets loss to Juan Martin del Potro on Philippe Chatrier.

"Yeah, it's something special for me. I tried to do my best today on Philippe Chatrier court, but Juan Martin was simply too strong in every part of the game," said the 36-year-old.

Last lucky man standing

-- There were a record eight lucky losers in the men's singles draw this year, but Estonian Jurgen Zopp was the only one to make it to the third round.

Having not played at a Grand Slam since 2014, the world number 136 had to do it the hard way too, beating American 14th seed Jack Sock in five sets before coming back from two sets down to beat fellow lucky loser Ruben Bemmelmans in round two.

The 30-year-old will face world number 70 Maximilian Marterer next, with a potential last-16 clash against Rafael Nadal up for grabs.

So close, yet so far

-- American Bernarda Pera, playing in only the second Grand Slam tournament of her career, collapsed to defeat by Daria Gavrilova despite leading 7-5, 5-2 with a double break.

The world number 73, who reached the Australian Open third round on her major debut earlier this year, lost five games in a row, missing a match point on her own serve along the way. Pera managed to save three match points herself in the deciding set, but still lost 5-7, 7-5, 6-3.

Who's saying what

"I don't remember him, because I never met him."

-- Nadal answers a question about Roland Garros, a French aviator and fighter pilot who was killed during World War I. The French Open venue was named after him posthumously.

"I have one croissant per day, and if I've been running a lot, two. I just smell butter, and I feel like having one."

-- Former champion Garbine Muguruza can't resist the classic French pastries.

"Do you know the schedule?"

-- Maria Sharapova responds to a question about her possible return to the showpiece Court Philippe Chatrier against Karolina Pliskova on Saturday.

"It's just a paper cut."

-- In true British style, Kyle Edmund plays down a problem with his finger after beating Marton Fucsovics.

"Grass is going to be a big part of the season for me. I think, I always enjoyed playing on it. It really suits my game style.

"I'm excited, you know, it's a short part of the season, but for me it's the funnest part."

-- Denis Shapovalov looking forward to fun on the grass.

"I needed help getting in and out of bed. If I needed to go to the shower or go to the bathroom, I needed someone to help me get there.

"It wasn't that I wasn't able to play, it's that I wasn't able to live my life the way I'd been used to."

-- American Bethanie Mattek-Sands talks about the horrific knee injury she suffered at Wimbledon last year, after seeing her Grand Slam return ended with a loss to Andrea Petkovic on Thursday.

Numbers up

188 - the ranking of Cilic's vanquished opponent Hubert Hurkacz. The Polish qualifier fought back in the third and fourth sets on Philippe Chatrier court, but the third seed came through 6-2, 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 7-5.

82 - number of unforced errors made by 19-year-old Shapovalov in his surprise defeat.

5 - match points needed for two-time champion Maria Sharapova to get past Croatia's Donna Vekic.

27 -- winners hit by Serena Williams in her comeback victory over Ashleigh Barty. She managed only three in the first set.

Relief: Serena Williams celebrates after a battling fightback to down Ashleigh Barty