First round matches continued at the 2018 French Open on Monday with rain halting proceedings at the end. This has paved the way for a smashing schedule on Tuesday. This Set Points guides you through the snippets of matches that I got to watch. Please chip in with your thoughts about matches that I missed! Read on for nine stories from Paris.
Kvitova d. Cepede Royg (RG, R1)
After a tennis sesh with the bro (more on that to come later!) I got back for the deciding set between Petra Kvitova and Veronica Cepede Royg. VCR was defending 4th round points from last year at the French Open and she knows her way around a clay court. I have vivid memories from the first round last year where she was absolutely peak for a set and a half against Safarova. Roll on a year and Cepede Royg was competing well against Kvitova and holding her position on the baseline.
Kvitova was surprisingly restrained with nothing too wild in what was decent quality from both in the final set. Serving at *4-5 *0-15, Kvitova found some big serves to stave off danger and then broke in the next game, the only break of the third set, winning an extended rally at *15-30 on the VCR serve with a big backhand that prompted a raised arm! Kvitova served out the match and won on her first match point. A tough opener but solid enough from Petra who finished with 31 winners to 35 unforced errors.
Keys d. Vickery (RG, R1)
Madison Keys enjoyed a mostly routine opening round win over Sachia Vickery, 6-3 6-3. Keys threw in one poor service game up a break in the second set with a succession of errors, but broke Vickery’s serve again in the next game and with it, her spirit. Vickery committed too many unforced errors long and was ineffective on serve.
Coming up in the second round – Madison Keys vs. Caroline Dolehide. I’m excited about this one! I’ve got Dolehide, who won her first Slam main draw match on Monday against Viktorija Golubic, reaching the fourth round in my draw.
Kasatkina d. Kanepi (RG, R1)
I caught the ends of both sets as Daria Kasatkina beat Kaia Kanepi in straights, 6-4 6-1. Pleasantly surprised with this result as Kanepi had won their last two matches in the past year in straights. It was a good day for my faves (!) as Lucie Safarova also won her first round match. Funnily enough, she also won 6-4 6-1 against Jessika Ponchet.
Petkovic d. Mladenovic (RG, R1)
Andrea Petkovic maintained her 100% record over Kristina Mladenovic with a fifth consecutive victory, winning 7-6(10) 6-2. It was such a huge difference from Mladenovic’s last match on Suzanne Lenglen where she had prevailed in a dramatic fourth rounder against Garbiñe Muguruza in front of a vociferous crowd. The crowd were noticeably mute by the end of this clash as Petkovic scored a fantastic win.
The pair played out a bonkers first set tiebreak – neither seemed to want to win it at times, but there were some superb rallies. Mladenovic will rue four missed set points including back-to-back double faults on her serve at 6-3 in the tiebreak. I’m thrilled for Petko who is one of my favourite characters on the WTA tour. She’s had a tough few years and is currently ranked outside of the world’s top 100. Petko has now knocked out a seed at the two Slams this year having edged out Petra Kvitova in a manic Melbourne clash, 10-8 in the third set.
Wozniacki d. Collins (RG, R1)
After the wild Petkovic-Mladenovic first set tiebreak, I watched the end of the first set from Chatrier between Caroline Wozniacki and Danielle Collins. The American gave a good account of herself in the opener, just coming up short in the first set tiebreak. Collins was really positive and looked to come forward. There were just too many errors. Wozniacki was resolute and mentally strong, finishing the match with excellent stats of 20 winners to 13 unforced errors.
Around the grounds…
The result that surprised me the most was Mariana Duque-Mariño’s upset win over Anastasija Sevastova, 4-6 6-1 6-3. Sevastova had crawled across the line in the first set having been up 5-0* 40-15* with set points. MDM has scored 19 wins on clay this year including three in qualifying for the French Open. Still, a big upset for me as Sevastova has had a mostly solid year up till now. It’s a tad frustrating when you see what she can produce on the tennis court but frequently gets in a mental muddle.
Elsewhere, I am chuffed to see Belinda Bencic win her first match since Indian Wells. Bencic saved FIVE match points to triumph over Deborah Chiesa, 3-6 7-6(2) 7-5 in two hours and 48 minutes. Katerina Siniakova defeated Victoria Azarenka in a tight two setter on Court 18, 7-5 7-5. Azarenka’s departure from this section that also housed Ostapenko, V.Williams and Konta has left this quarter wide open for the taking. Strycova is the only seed remaining and she was probably the least likely to still be in having come into this tournament on a long losing streak! Of the eight left, i’d fancy Martic to make quarters.
Tuesday R1 Previews
The three matches that I previewed on the main site are all on the schedule for Tuesday. ICYMI, the post is linked below.
The schedule is linked below and it’s a cracker – very disappointed that Muguruza-Kuznetsova, a battle of two previous French Open champs, only gets Court 1.
Tennis vs. the bro
For the first time in a few years, my bro and I played a three setter this morning. First of all, it was so much fun and the conditions were actually fair. A nice cooling breeze but not enough to affect play and intermittent sunshine. The first set went with serve until the bro got the first break of serve at 3-3. I felt things slipping as he quickly went up *30-0 in his next service game. I played my best two points of the match with a backhand return winner down-the-line (😲) and a volley winner up at the net. After about six deuces, I finally broke back! However, I couldn’t hold onto my serve in the next game and the bro served it out with some big serves, 6-4.
We started with four straight breaks at the start of the second set and then I got a big hold on the board to lead 3-2! My bro comes forward a lot but I found some decent passing shots. I then got two break points in the next game but completely fluffed it. Three returns straight into the net. Tragic. The bro held and I cursed myself. I managed to hold my next service game but so did the bro. 4-4 second set.
I felt tense stepping up to serve and so it showed as my serve, which had surprisingly held up well as I was getting it deep in the box, was landing short and the bro jumped on it. Break to love and I was furious with myself 😂.
The bro served for the match at 6-4 5-4. I started with a winner off the first point but he did well (I hate to admit). On the next point, he produced the shot of the match with a gorgeous cross court forehand winner. I tweaked my hip in the process and he yelled come on. I was sulked back to the baseline. I did the right things at the end going for his backhand side but he was just too good. With a forehand inside-out winner, the bro won, 6-4 6-4.
I was quite happy with my performance and it was better than yesterday! Let’s try and get a set tomorrow…