Set Points, French Open Day 2: Muguruza battles back, Bondarenko ousts Vinci

Rainnnnnn opened proceedings for day 2 at Roland Garros but thankfully it abated from lunchtime and there were no more stoppages with a full evening of play. These first days of Slams are so much fun but also HECTIC as it’s impossible to follow everything! Previews of first round matches set for Tuesday can be found for Eugenie Bouchard v Laura Siegemund HERE and Elina Svitolina v Sorana Cirstea HERE. Read on for Monday’s Set Points…

Set PointsThe first two matches on Philippe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen threatened upsets in both draws. On the second show court, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova won the first set against Garbiñe Muguruza, 6-3. This was noteworthy because it was the first set that Schmiedlova had won on the tour since January! While Muguruza was error-strewn and unstable at the net, Schmiedlova was playing tennis again following a dire run of form that had seen her rack up 11 straight set losses.

Muguruza saved nine break points in a 15-minute game to open the second set and then broke to love to lead 2-0. The Spaniard still had some wobbly moments after this, going from 4-1 to 4-3 in both sets, but she survived winning, 3-6 6-3 6-3. Winning these types of matches is huge and all you have to do at this stage is get that win! I think Garbiñe will hopefully settle from here on.

Muguruza looked on course for a tricky second round match against Christina McHale who had defeated her earlier this year in Indian Wells. Instead, Muguruza will play the 25-year-old, Myrtille Georges (great name) in the second round who claimed her FIRST main draw win at a Major.

There were four seeded casualties on day 2 and the highest to fall was the number seven seed, Roberta Vinci. Her first round match was definitely worthy of an upset alert although the scoreline was still surprising. Kateryna Bondarenko beat Vinci, 6-1 6-3 in exactly an hour.

Bondarenko was fantastic in the first set, hitting winners all over the shop but Vinci was shockingly passive; Bondarenko hit 12 winners to Vinci’s 1. Bondarenko suffered a spate of double faults in the second set but battled through some shaky service games to remain dominant on return. The Ukrainian player served out the match to 15.

Sara Errani had reached at least the quarter-finals in her last four appearances at Roland Garros. However, she headed into Paris without a win on red clay in 2016. The latter stat was the one that prevailed as Tsvetana Pironkova danced through on the dirt, 6-3 6-2. Errani’s had a miserable clay court season and now heads onto her least favourite surface of grass…

Karolina Pliskova and Jelena Ostapenko were the other two seeds that fell on Monday with Shelby Rogers and Naomi Osaka both advancing respectively.

The number two seed, Agnieszka Radwanska began her Roland Garros campaign with a 6-0 6-2 saunter past Bojana Jovanovski. The Serb, who was playing her first match since February, was always going to struggle in this match-up. Her lack of tactical awareness against someone as smart as Radwanska was evident. Radwanska moves through to a tantalising second round match against last week’s Strasbourg champion, Caroline Garcia. The Frenchwoman recovered from 0-4 down in the second set to defeat Lesia Tsurenko, 6-3 7-5.

I really enjoyed the final match on court 5 between Irina-Camelia Begu and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. BMS came into this match having lost all four previous matches against Begu and with just one main draw win all year which came against Teliana Pereira in Charleston. She came out though with some smart tactics, slicing EVERYTHING off the backhand. Begu kept going back to the backhand and couldn’t do anything with it. Begu came up with two decent saves down set point at *4-5, but succumbed at *5-6 with the American claiming the opening set. On quite a few changeovers you could see Beth visibly smiling, perhaps at how her tactics were working beautifully!


Screencap from British Eurosport coverage

Begu though changed it up in the second set, going more to the forehand side and wisely alternating sides. It worked wonders as the Romanian player raced into a *5-0 lead. She failed to serve out the second set with the American producing a couple of dashes of magic but Begu broke for the set.

It was pretty much plain sailing in the decider with one tight service game for the Romanian player. Begu won, 5-7 6-1 6-3 in two hours and nine minutes. She was super smart to turn this match around because for a time it looked like she was in trouble. With Vinci and Pliskova already out of the third quarter, the draw is opening up in dreamy fashion for the number 25 seed.

In the matches carried over from Monday, Svetlana Kuznetsova (d. Shvedova, 4-6 6-1 6-4), Heather Watson (d. Nicole Gibbs, 5-7 6-2 6-2) and Cagla Buyukakcay (d. Sasnovich, 5-7 7-6(2) 6-2) all secured first round wins. For Cagla, it was a monumental win as it marked the first time that a Turkish woman had reached the second round of a Slam.

Trying to spell Buyukakcay’s name is challenging but if you’re wondering how to pronounce it correctly, here you go…

Simona Halep was in fine form on day 2, powering past Nao Hibino, 6-2 6-0 in just 45 (!) minutes… Simona’s outfit got a lot of attention!

For some great practice pics from Roland Garros, check out Tennis & Co.

Working through the early days of Slams is such a bummer :-(. It’s so hard to focus at work! I just can’t wait for Wimbledon where i’ve got the whole first week off so will be able to fully concentrate on tennis and blogging.

Follow Moo’s Tennis Blog on Twitter (@Moo_Tennis) HERE and Facebook HERE.

26 thoughts on “Set Points, French Open Day 2: Muguruza battles back, Bondarenko ousts Vinci

  1. I had Sara (Errani) going deep into this tournament and instead she got eliminated in the first round. You all have permssion to laugh the next time I issue a prediction…

    Anyone following the British girls? Heather Watson scored a good win over Nicole Gibbs today and has all but qualified for Rio (well done Heather), but Naomi Broady was beaten by Coco Vandeweghe; quite a match of serving that must have been. I don’t think Laura Robson and Andrea (Petkovic) have finished their match yet.


  2. Can’t WAIT for Garcia vs Radwanska. Their matches are always sooo good!
    Also pleased Kuznetsova got the win. Has she played Heather before? I could imagine this could be a tough grind if both are switched on.


  3. One last thing; this is the first time I can remember four British girls all making the main draw at the French Open (I haven’t mentioned Jo Konta as I don’t think she’s started playing yet). Something to celebrate surely.


      • Yeah, she certainly has although I think Jo’s got enough to win this one. To me, Julia’s something of a confidence player; her game seems to go up and down a lot depending upon how she’s feeling. In terms of how well she can play, I think she should be much higher ranked than she is.

        Anyway, back to the British girls, here’s a quiz question; does anyone know without looking it up who the last British girl was to win RG, and what was the year (Ok, the decade)?

        Without looking it up myself, I think I know but I’m not 100% sure.


      • Oh goodness my knowledge of past tennis is abysmal. I’m fine with anything in the last five or maybe ten years! I think Sue Barker won the French Open?


      • Saw a bit of this match, Goerges looked really good. Konta can focus for the grass so I don’t think she will be too disheartened.


      • That’s right James, well done! Sue was the last British woman to win the French Open, in 1976 (so 40 years ago). It was her peak achievement in tennis as she didn’t win any other slams (still, she won one!).

        Nice article here if you’re interested;

        If you even know that Sue won the French though, you know a lot more about the history of tennis than most British people who seem to think it begins and ends with Wimbledon, which is unfortunate for players like Sue who by her own admission was better on clay than she was on grass.


  4. Why oh why can’t the French open buy some damn lights?!?! Surely I’m not the only one disappointed come 8PM each night!


    • lol….. You know the french, I love them but the laissez faire attitude at some point will have to go. What about a roof, but if no one wants to do the lights, well, I rest my case. And the crowd, they’ll boo you at the least opportunity. It is the very antithesis to the All England Club’s Slam. It’s a bit much, but a poster one another forum once described it as the ‘Ghetto’ of the slams. I still love it though, the clay, it’s my dirty slam.


      • Yeah and you’d think considering how behind they are they’d start matches an hour or two earlier to catch up but no…


      • I think they are three courts down this year. Would be tough to start any earlier than 11am and no-one would be on Chatrier! It always narks me that Wimbledon CC and No.1 don’t start until 1.


      • I’ve really warmed to the French Open in the last few years and loved being part of the crowd last year. I thought they’d drive me mad but I enjoyed it!


  5. Garcia vs. Radwanska – definitely a three-setter. Who do I pick? Aga in three close, tight sets. Azarenka had a right knee injury and retired, while Kerber struggled with a left shoulder injury. At this rate, Serena will be able to win the title without dropping a set.


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