PARIS – The Latest on the French Open (all times local):
Alexander Zverev has won his first match since blowing a two-set lead and losing a fifth-set tiebreaker in the U.S. Open final.
Zverev is seeded No. 6 at Roland Garros and came through with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 victory over 91st-ranked Dennis Novak — exactly two weeks after being beaten by Dominic Thiem for the title in New York.
Zverev was plagued by double-faults at the U.S. Open but was just fine Sunday, with only two. He hit 10 aces and only was broken once by Novak.
That match finished shortly after the longest contest of Day 1 wrapped up: Juan Ignacio Londero emerged to win a 14-12 fifth set after nearly five hours against Federico Delbonis in an all-Argentine matchup.
Londero won 6-4, 7-6 (1), 2-6, 1-6, 14-12.
The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that does not use tiebreakers in the final set.
Add the French Open to Coco Gauff's list of Grand Slam tournaments where she has beaten seeded opponents.
The 16-year-old American made her main-draw debut at Roland Garros a successful one by eliminating No. 9 seed Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-3 at Court Suzanne Lenglen on Sunday.
Konta was a semifinalist a year ago in Paris, while Gauff lost in qualifying rounds.
It was at the next major tournament, Wimbledon, where Gauff made her breakthrough, becoming at 15 the youngest player ever to qualify at the All England Club — and then beating Venus Williams en route to the fourth round.
Gauff then reached the third round at the U.S. Open last year, and the fourth round at the Australian Open this year, beating 2019 champion Naomi Osaka along the way.
Things had been a bit tougher for Gauff lately: She entered the French Open having lost four of her past five matches. But she handled the cold weather and heavy conditions better than Konta, a three-time Grand Slam semifinalist.
Stan Wawrinka made quick work of Andy Murray in their reunion of sorts at the French Open.
In the first matchup of Grand Slam champions in the first round of any major tournament since 2012, Wawrinka beat Murray 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 in a little more than 1 1/2 hours at Court Philippe Chatrier.
Wawrinka compiled a 42-10 edge in total winners while making just one more unforced error than Murray, 27-26.
This was the 21st matchup between the pair of three-time Grand Slam champions. One of those previous meetings came in the 2017 French Open semifinals, won by Wawrinka.
Neither man has really been the same since. Wawrinka has had multiple knee operations, and Murray has had two hip operations.
Qualifier Jurij Rodionov has celebrated his first main-draw match at any Grand Slam tournament by rallying to win 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4, 10-8 against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
The French Open is the only Grand Slam that does not use tiebreakers in the final set for men’s and women’s matches.
After sealing victory on his seventh match point, following 4 hours, 36 minutes of grueling effort, a relieved Rodionov lay on his back. He rested his racket on his face, then after greeting Chardy at the net, sat in his chair and broke out into a wide smile.
The 21-year-old Austrian’s career could be in good hands. One of his coaches is Wolfgang Thiem, the father of fellow Austrian Dominic Thiem — the U.S. Open champion, and French Open runner-up the past two years.
Kei Nishikori has reached the second round of the French Open by beating 32nd-seeded Dan Evans 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-4 in a match featuring 15 breaks of serve.
The 30-year-old Nishikori has reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros three times, including last year.
But this year he is not seeded and the Japanese player next faces Italian Stefano Travaglia, who advanced after beating Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Venus Williams has been knocked out in the first round of the French Open for the third straight year, losing 6-4, 6-4 to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
The 40-year-old American is 0-3 in Grand Slams this year following first-round exits at the Australian Open and the U.S. Open.
Since the start of 2018, the seven-time Grand Slam champion has lost in the first round in seven of the past 11 major tournaments.
There were only a handful of spectators watching their match in chilly conditions on Court Simone Mathieu.
Williams, who lost the 2002 final to her younger sister Serena, was deep in trouble at 4-1 down in the second set. She fought back well before Schmiedlova clinched the match on serve, on her third match point, with a forehand winner down the line.
The Slovakian next faces 10th-seeded Victoria Azarenka, the U.S. Open runner-up.
Sebastian Korda, a qualifier whose father, Petr, won the 1998 Australian Open and was the runner-up at the 1992 French Open, has the first main-draw Grand Slam match win of his career.
The 20-year-old Korda beat Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Korda now faces another American, 21st-seeded John Isner.
Isner advanced by beating Elliot Benchetrit 6-4, 6-1, 6-3.
David Goffin has become the first seeded player to be knocked out of the French Open.
The 11th-seeded Belgian lost 7-5, 6-0, 6-3 to 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner, who beat Goffin for the second time this year after winning on hard courts at Rotterdam in February.
Sinner showcased his talent as one of the world’s best young players by winning the Next Gen ATP Finals last year. He next faces French qualifier Benjamin Bonzi or Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori.
In the women’s draw, tenth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat Danka Kovinic 6-1, 6-2 in chilly conditions.
The U.S. Open runner-up plays either Venus Williams or Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the second round.
Less than an hour into the French Open, cold and damp conditions at the major that has been postponed from its usually more pleasant spot in May and June are causing grumbling and a temper outbreak from Victoria Azarenka.
The No. 10 seeded Azarenka fumed when match officials didn’t immediately send her and first-round opponent Danka Kovinic back to the locker-room during a rain interruption Sunday on the Suzanne Lenglen court.
Azarenka was leading 2-1 in the first set when a match supervisor asked them to wait on their courtside seats for a few minutes to see if the falling rain would pass.
Azarenka boiled over.
“I am going to get frozen,” she complained. “No. I’m not waiting here a couple of minutes because I’m cold. It’s eight degrees, eight degrees, I live in Florida, I am used to hot weather.”
Wrapped up in a puffy pink coat, Azarenka asked Kovinic if she wanted to wait on court. The 74th-ranked player from Montenegro agreed that she did not.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s too cold,” Azarenka grumbled, before walking off court. “What’s the point? Sitting here like ducks.”
Postponed and its crowds nearly all driven away, the French Open is finally underway, defying both the coronavirus and autumn rain with play for the first time under the new roof at the revamped Philippe Chatrier showpiece court.
A crowd, if it could be called that, of around 150 spectators was on hand to see David Goffin, seeded 11th, and Jannik Sinner from Italy hit the first balls in main draw play Sunday under the Chatrier roof that means the French Open joins the other majors as being able to guarantee play in inclement weather.
It will need it: The forecast is grim for the coming days of its COVID-19-enforced autumn slot, pushed back from May and June.
With only 1,000 spectators allowed per day, the cool weather and players undergoing batteries of tests, the fortnight promises to be unique, a far cry from the usual festival of Grand Slam tennis on the clay courts on the western edge of Paris.
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