The 2018 French Open is officially underway with Sunday the first day of main draw action. I’m on holiday for the next week in Portugal and am writing this from the balcony of our villa. I wish I could paint a glorious scene that I am drenched in sunshine. In fact, i’m shivering in a hoody. I think it’s actually warmer back home! Still, we are having a lovely time. I’ve managed to watch bits and bobs from the tennis and after a brief panic at being locked out of my Eurosport account, it’s all working now. The plan is to put up short posts each day which will at least allow you all to comment on the day’s action. Read on for seven stories in Sunday’s Set Points.
Kontaveit d. Brengle (RG, R1)
My first viewing experience of the 2018 French Open was the last two games of Anett Kontaveit’s 6-1 4-6 6-2 win over Madison Brengle. Kontaveit was unable to serve out the match, but broke to love for the win with an aggressive and clinical final game. Anett looked mightily relieved at the end. As some of you have noticed, i’ve picked Kontaveit to reach the semi-finals! We’ll see how that one goes. I really, really, really hope we get Kvitova-Kontaveit in the third round.
Strycova d. Nara (RG, R1)
Barbora Strycova snapped an eight match winning streak with a gutsy 1-6 6-3 6-4 win over Kurumi Nara. I was really pleased for Bara who looked super relieved at the end. The Czech player saved four break points in the decider, fighting through some tough service games including a *0-40 hole at *4-3. I was scared for Strycova serving at *5-4 for the match. I didn’t need to be as she served and volleyed at the end with success!
Cornet d. Errani (RG, R1)
I watched most of the third set and was hoping for a little bit more drama! Alizé Cornet came from a set and a break down to win, 2-6 6-2 6-3 in front of an excited home crowd. Errani threatened a comeback in the third set which Cornet slammed the door shut on with some potent returning and a pair of superb drop shots. Cornet had strapping on her leg but was the more energetic and intense player through the final two sets.
Putintseva d. Konta (RG, R1)
Ohhhh Jo. I was really hoping Konta would break her losing streak at Roland Garros but it was not be as Yulia Putintseva prevailed in straight sets, 6-4 6-3. Konta just couldn’t break down Putintseva who was so solid and got to everything. Konta put minimal pressure on Putintseva’s serve at the end of the match who dropped just two points behind it in the last four service games. Konta is killing it in press though and loved her response linked below.
Kuzmova d. Schiavone (RG, R1)
I was pleased to get to watch some of my match of the day featuring former champ, Francesca Schiavone against the 20-year-old, Viktoria Kuzmova. The Slovak player won her first ever main draw match at a Slam, 7-6(2) 7-6(2). Kuzmova is a real talent and i’m excited to see her progress on tour. I don’t think she’s far of a big breakthrough. Watch out for Kuzmova! Her groundstrokes are so pure and it was nice to see her throw in some drop shots (successful!) at the end. I enjoyed watching this one.
The first day of the tournament saw two top ten seeds fall at the first hurdle…
Kateryna Kozlova defeated the number five seed and defending champion, Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets, 7-5 6-3. Kozlova is now a perfect three out of three against Ostapenko! I really didn’t see this result coming as Kozlova was riding a five match losing streak and had only ever won one main draw match at Slam. I thought Ostapenko would be on it. I was wrong.
Wang Qiang beat the number nine seed, Venus Williams in straight sets, 6-4 7-5. Again, I didn’t expect this as I questioned whether Wang Qiang could hold her nerve and concentration. I’m really happy for the Chinese player who has a nice game.
Jelena and Venus can both turn their attention to the grass…
My tennis experiences
Our villa has a tennis court which is such a novelty 😍. My bro and I are planning tennis every day if our bodies hold up. We played just a set today with the bro winning, 6-3. We played in the heat of the day and my footwork was non-existent at the end. We are going to try a best of three set match tomorrow morning! Let’s do this… 💪💪💪