The opening day of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros was a rain-drenched affair as just ten singles matches were completed. In fact, it was much better than expected as the weather forecast had implied there was a strong possibility of a complete washout. The only match to be completed on Phillipe Chatrier staked an early claim for match of the tournament although it doesn’t have much to compete with right now! Read on for Sunday’s Set Points from Roland Garros…
When Petra Kvitova and Danka Kovinic last played at Indian Wells, Kovinic came within two points of winning the match. Kvitova eventually won, 6-3 4-6 7-6(5). It was a case of déjà vu in Paris as Kovinic was once again just two points from the win but Kvitova battled back to survive, winning through, 6-2 4-6 7-5. Kvitova had led 6-2 *3-0 *40-15 at one point before Kovinic clawed her way back into contention, sealing the set with a gorgeous drop shot-lob combo. Kvitova didn’t play a bad set but became noticeably tight towards the end of it as Kovinic’s level improved dramatically.
In a high quality third set, Kvitova buckled on serve at 4-4, committing three double faults and two in a row to give Kovinic the opportunity to serve for the match. Kovinic saved a break point to get to deuce. The Montenegrin player forced Kvitova out wide with another excellent serve; drawn into the net by Kvitova’s short return, Kovinic didn’t react quick enough and played it straight back to Kvitova who found the pass. To be fair to Kovinic I think it was more difficult than it looked but still, a huge opportunity missed.
Kvitova broke and then won the last two games; she found some first serves in the game at 5-5 and some lines too, hitting a rasping forehand winner to set up match point. For P3tra, it was a narrow escape but a hugely rewarding victory.
Last year’s Roland Garros finalist, Lucie Safarova barely beat the rain to book her place in the second round, defeating Vitalia Diatchenko, 6-0 6-2. Lucie dropped just two points on her first serve and was solid from the baseline. She kept her cool against an erratic opponent in Diatchenko who finished with 27 unforced errors. One down, six more to go! 🙂
While we are on the topic of Lucie, here’s a lovely interview with Lucie and Beth. I loved the bit where Beth talked about learning how to pronounce Lucie’s name correctly!
And two more excellent articles where Lucie talks in detail about the bacterial infection and reactive arthritis that has affected her over the last ten months. She’s done amazingly to come back and I can’t speak more about my admiration for her attitude towards everything that she has been through.
And I love this picture of Lucie and Vika from yesterday!
Safarova will play Viktorija Golubic in the second round after the Swiss player won her first ever Slam main draw match. Golubic defeated Alison Riske, 6-2 1-6 6-2. Golubic wreaked havoc in the recent Fed Cup tie against the Czech Republic, coming from a set down to beat both Karolina Pliskova and Barbora Strycova. Qualifiers are always dangerous so it will no doubt be a much tougher match for Lucie.
The seeds went three out of three on day one as Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova dropped just two games in a convincing 6-2 6-0 victory against the qualifier, Sara Sorribes Tormo. The only other winner on day 1 was Su-Wei Hsieh who defeated Lara Arruabarrena, 7-6(6) 6-3. The Spaniard twice failed to serve out the first set and also had a set point in the tiebreak.
Three WTA matches are in progress and all of them into a third set. The number 13 seed, Svetlana Kuznetsova leads Yaroslava Shvedova, 3-1 in the decider after Shvedova had played a blinding opener, hitting 23 winners. The matches featuring Gibbs-Watson and Buyukakcay-Sasnovich will both resume on Monday.
The doubles draw was announced on Sunday… OMG TAKE ME TO PARIS NOW!
And finally, here’s a fitting picture to sum up day 1 of the 2016 French Open. Here’s hoping for less rain and more tennis on day 2!