PARIS -- While the women's draw is coming apart at the seams, the men are holding it together, with the exception of the dearly departed Stan Wawrinka.
Before the match, French reporters asked Djokovic if he harbored any fears, because it was Chardy who knocked out Federer out a few weeks ago in the second round at Rome.
Djokovic, answering in French, said, "No, I have no fears at all. This is what I'm saying. Yeah, I know the word. You want me to say again? I will repeat. I have no fears."
Maybe it's because Djokovic is now 9-0 against Chardy and has won all 22 of the sets they've played. Next up: dangerous No. 25 seed Marin Cilic, who has improved dramatically under the tutelage of former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic.
"He's a big guy, and he can play really aggressive," Djokovic said of Cilic. "If he feels the ball well, he can be dangerous."
Epic comeback for Johnson
When the qualifier from Corsica took the first two sets from Steve Johnson on Tuesday and raced out to a 4-0 lead in the third, the rabid, pro-French crowd on Court 7 couldn't believe its good fortune. Even as dusk visited the grounds and Johnson leveled the match, the fans cheered and clapped for Frenchman Laurent Lokoli. It was past 9:30 p.m. when they suspended the match with Johnson leading 3-1.
As sometimes happens, the day after the night before was full of pain and remorse. On Wednesday, Johnson never gave the crowd a chance to lift Lokoli's spirits and went on to win 4-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-3. Elapsed time: 3 hours, 57 minutes.
It was the 24-year-old Californian's first five-set win in a Grand Slam. And he saved two match points in the third set against the No. 444-ranked player on the ATP Tour.
"Wasn't looking bright two sets and 4-love down," Johnson said. "You know, I just kept fighting. Last week in Nice I had match points, served for the match three times and lost to [Dominic] Thiem in the first round.
"So I knew you're not out of it until you're out of it. It was just kind of a learning experience last week, and I used it this week and just kept fighting."
Next up is fellow American Jack Sock in a second-round match Thursday.
Up and down for Americans
In other action involving United States players, No. 10 seed John Isner, playing into the twilight against Mikhail Kukushkin, prevailed 6-7 (6), 7-6 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (4). Next up: No. 17 Tommy Robredo in the third round Friday. Sam Querrey lost to No. 31 seed Dmitry Tursunov of Russia, 6-4, 7-5, 6-1 ... Varvara Lepchenko had beaten No. 8 seed Angelique Kerber in the first four career matches they played, going all the way back to an ITF event seven years ago, but has now lost the last two -- both at Roland Garros. This time it was 6-2, 7-5 in an all-lefty match ... The Bryan brothers won their very first Grand Slam doubles title here at Roland Garros in 2003. Ten years later, they repeated as champions. Their defense began Wednesday when they beat Martin Emmrich and Christopher Kas 6-2, 6-2.
Facundo Bagnis, the man who won a fifth set by a record-equaling 18-16 count to reach the second round, was bageled in the final set Wednesday by Ernests Gulbis, who won 6-2, 7-5, 6-0 in a match that required less than two hours ... No. 18 seed Eugenie Bouchard dropped the first set to Julia Goerges but rallied fabulously to win 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 ... No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych dropped the first set but rallied past Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 ... No. 8 seed Milos Raonic beat Jiri Vesely 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-1 ... No. 9 seed Dominika Cibulkova defeated Tamira Paszek 6-3, 6-4 ... No. 11 seed Sabine Lisicki retired from her match with Mona Barthel trailing 6-1, 3-0 ... No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska handled Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-4.