Finally! After a day of rubbish weather at Roland Garros the clouds parted, the sun shone and the French Open got properly underway. Sort of. The clouds didn’t part and the sun didn’t shine, but the misty rain merely added to the sheen of sweat adorning the players’ brows as they battled for a spot in the second round. These are the highlights of a packed second day at Roland Garros:
The best of the men:
Andy Murray didn’t finish his match on Philippe-Chatrier, but Radek Stepanek wasn’t far from finishing the No.2 seed off. Murray and Stepanek will resume play with the Scot trailing the Czech stalwart 3-6 3-6 6-0 4-2.
Stan Wawrinka is another man who will be glad to get a tricky first round out the way. A late arrival after winning the Geneva Open title, Wawrinka needed five sets to oust that always dangerous Lukas Rosol 4-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-4.
“A really tough match, the conditions were slow and heavy,” Wawrinka told the AAP. “He kept me under pressure permanently. I kept running after the score. You can’t really relax.”
There aren’t many Grand Slam champions in the men’s draw, and former US Open Champion Marin Cilic claimed the ignominious title of first one out as he went down to Argentine qualifier Marco Trungelliti 7-6(4) 3-6 6-4 6-2.
Gregor Dimitrov’s woeful season continued as he went down 2-6 6-3 5-7 7-5 6-3 to Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, Milos Raonic brushed aside Janko Tipsarevic in straight sets, and Kei Nishikori was impressive in his win over Simone Bolelli, finishing the Italian 6-1 7-5 6-3.
The women’s round-up
There are two sides to every draw, and as the bottom half got underway there are plenty of question marks about who will be left standing in 12 days time.
Aga Radwanska got her French Open campaign off to a flier, swatting aside Bojana Jovanovski 6-0 6-2. The Polish No.2 seed, who has always had a bit of a love / hate relationship with Roland Garros, was relieved to get the win under her belt.
“Well, I think I’m getting better,” Aga said. “Of course I was doing everything in those last couple of weeks to move better. I think that’s the key on clay.”
Another favourite for the title, Simona Halep, was equally as dismissive of her first round opponent, brushing aside Nao Hibino 6-2 6-0. Like Halep, Garbine Muguruza has her eyes on the prize at Roland Garros. However, the Spanish No.4 seed had to come from behind to claim the win over Schmiedlova, eventually getting it done 3-6 6-3 6-3.
But it didn’t all go the way of the seeds. Roberta Vinci suffered a surprise 6-1 6-3 loss to Kateryna Bondarenko, while former runner-up Sara Errani went down 6-3 6-2 to Tsvetlana Pironkova. The other big name casualty on the women’s side was Sabine Lisicki, who limped out 6-2 6-2 to Veronica Cepede Royg. Yep, us neither.
Ones to watch today…
With both the men’s and women’s top half in action, it means Novak, Serena, Rafa and Kerber are all in action. Meanwhile, Andy Murray will try to finish off Radek Stepanek.
If you’re looking for potential upsets Vasek Pospisil will fancy his chances against Tomas Berdych, Kiki Bertens is a dangerous opponent for Angie Kerber, and if Serena isn’t firing but Rybarikova is there could be trouble on Chatrier.
Oh, and if you want to see what the future of tennis looks like, check our Borna Coric v Taylor Fritz (first on Court 10).
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