There were a sprinkling of seeds to fall on day 2 at the 2019 French Open but nothing has shocked me… yet! Just like Sunday, the first match of the day on Chatrier produced an “upset”. Monday’s Set Points post includes match reviews of Wozniacki-Kudermetova, Stosur-Strycova, Bertens-Parmentier and S.Williams-Diatchenko, as well as media highlights from day 2 in Paris.
Match reviews 🎾
Kiki Bertens d. Pauline Parmentier, 6-3 6-4
Bertens scored her first ever win over Pauline Parmentier with a drama-free opening round win. The serve continues to be a solid base of Bertens’s game as she won 34 of 37 first serve points and held all of her 10 service games.
I thought Bertens was a tad passive on return and spent a lot of time behind the baseline. For these openers, it’s all about getting through them unscathed. I do think Bertens will have to step it up though as the quality of opposition improves. Next up is Viktorija Kuzmova which could be a very intriguing match as the pair have split their two matches in 2019 with both going the distance.
On a random note, I really like Kiki’s outfit! The green one was my favourite during the clay court swing and this one again is so classy.
Sam Stosur d. Barbora Strycova, 6-2 7-6(3)
Stosur has reached at least the third round at Roland Garros for the past ten (!) years. The Aussie always seems to find some form in Paris and she got off to a great start on Monday with a straight sets win over Barbora Strycova. I was really impressed with Stosur and it’s the best i’ve seen her play in a very long time. Her game is just perfect for this surface.
After Stosur had played a near-perfect opener where she dropped just one point behind her first serve, Stosur had to work hard in a rollercoaster second set. Strycova led 4-2, Stosur missed a match point 5-4 and then Stosur won the last six points in the tiebreak. The majority of Stosur’s winners came from her forehand which was absolutely lethal. Strycova struggled to keep the ball away from that side. There were some great points in the second set as both were comfortable coming forward and volleying.
*whispers*… A good opportunity in this open section of the draw for Sam to have another run in Paris!
Serena Williams d. Vitalia Diatchenko, 2-6 6-1 6-0
Serena took some time to get going but eventually ran away with her opener against Vitalia Diatchenko. Serena was getting pushed back and dictated by Diatchenko in the first set who was hitting so flat and early. Serena improved after a roar of frustration at the start of the second set. Serve and return were both crucial, and she began to get the match on her terms as Diatchenko faded dramatically.
A win is a win. Not a great surprise to see Serena struggling because she has played so little tennis this year. The draw has been relatively kind to her for the first two rounds but things will get tougher from the third round. IMO it’s a tough ask to go all the way with so little match play and with the quality and depth of the field.
Seeded upsets 😲
Veronika Kudermetova d. (13) Caroline Wozniacki, 0-6 6-3 6-3
Just like Sunday, the first match of the day on Philippe Chatrier court produced a seeded upset. After losing the first seven games of the match, Kudermetova produced an impressive comeback to oust Caroline Wozniacki. In truth it wasn’t a huge upset although the result seemed unlikely after a one-sided opening set. Wozniacki had been bothered by various injuries heading into Roland Garros and had her lower leg heavily taped. You wouldn’t have guessed there were any issues early on as a rock-solid, Wozniacki hit just three unforced errors in the opening set. The Dane served well and tempted Kudermetova into some wild shotmaking.
After getting on the scoreboard early in the second set and then breaking with a pair of net cord winners, Kudermetova grew in confidence. The Russian player began to find her range on both serve and groundstrokes, and was increasingly successful coming forward to the net. At the same time, Wozniacki began to make more and more unforced errors, and was frankly in a foul mode. She moaned about line calls and dropped F bombs on multiple occasions! Kudermetova dominated proceedings in the decider and closed out the match with some bold forays to the net.
Not only was this Kudermetova’s first main draw win at a Slam, it was also a first top 20 win! The Russian player is now 25-13 for the year and enjoying a breakthrough season on tour. Kudermetova will rise to yet another new career high ranking after the French Open.
Three other seeds fell on day 2:
Kaia Kanepi d. (18) Julia Goerges, 7-5 6-1 – Not a shock based on Goerges’s recent form and with Kanepi’s giant killing ways.
Ekaterina Alexandrova d. (30) Mihaela Buzarnescu, 6-4 6-4 – I thought Buz was starting to play a bit better so disappointed by this result. Alexandrova is a huge hitter on her day.
Polona Hercog d. (32) Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 4-6 6-2 8-6 – This felt like a 50-50 match so not surprised to see it go the distance and then some. The first extra-time finish of the tournament.
Stat watch 🔢
On Monday, Johanna Konta won her first ever main draw match at the French Open! The Brit had lost in the first round for the past four years but finally broke new ground with a 6-4 6-4 opening round win over Antonia Lottner,
Handshakes and hugs 🤗
A nice moment between Danielle Collins and Tatjana Maria after Collins won, 6-0 6-2. Another Collins-Barty match awaits in R2…
LOL moment 🤣
Marie Bouzkova had to stop a point due to low-swooping pigeons. Funny at first but I can’t believe Bouzkova wasn’t granted a let?! Shocking umpiring. A let was played in the match between Dominic Thiem and Tommy Paul when a pigeon landed on the court during a point. Andreescu and Bouzkova will return on Tuesday to resume their very entertaining first rounder at one set all.
Super snap 📸
Love the first shot below of Carla. Great win today as she rallied from a set down to beat the Strasbourg champ, Dayana Yastremska, 2-6 7-6(0) 6-0.
Press highlights 📰
Petra Kvitova was forced to pull out of Roland Garros due to a forearm tear. I’d seen a tweet that she ended her practice yesterday but it rather all came out of the blue on Monday. Really sad for Petra and wishing her a speedy recovery. WTA Insider tweeted that the recovery should be two to three weeks. Hopefully all OK for the grass. I’m wondering if Petra will play Eastbourne instead of Birmingham?
And boom there goes my champ for RG. That’s an official first for my chosen champ to withdraw before the start of a Slam 😂😂😂.
Recommended reading 📚
My Mum told me about this and was revelling in finding something tennis-related that I hadn’t found 😂. Elina Svitolina is doing a column for BBC Sport and wrote about her reaction to drawing Venus in the first round.
Recommended media 📺
Get to know the new Simonne Mathieu court at Roland Garros.
Tomorrow’s OOP ⭐
There are some great match-ups on Tuesday – my three highlights are Ostapenko vs. Azarenka, Kontaveit vs. Muchova and Sabalenka vs. Cibulkova. I’m off work tomorrow so very much looking forward to it. Let’s just hope the forecasted rain stays away!