It was an on-off-on day of rain showers in Paris. It’s not the French Open as we know it and even more so with tennis under the lights in Paris which is still a rather jarring concept. As I write this, the first round is still ongoing but i’m wrapping up for today as it’s Bake Off! The line-up of matches on day 3 wasn’t as enticing as the previous two days but I think we saw the match of the round. Read on for my highlights from day 3.
Tauson saves 2 MPs, stuns Brady in 3 set thriller
The first set of matches on day 3 were eventful to say the least. Ostapenko-Brengle and Collins-Niculescu both delivered some magical moments which I enjoyed immensely via Twitter. Karolina Pliskova missed eight (!) set points to lose the opener to the Egyptian qualifier, Mayar Sherif. The Czech player recovered to win in three sets, 6-7(11) 6-2 6-4.
The pick of the matches, and probably the best match from the first round, saw the 17-year-old Dane, Clara Tauson knock out the US Open semi-finalist, Jen Brady, 4-6 6-3 9-7. Both players defied the drizzly conditions to put on a real show of bruising power. Tauson hits a huge ball and had a rather courageous mentality for someone playing their first main draw match at a Slam.
Tauson saved two match points at *4-5, the second of those on an extended rally where she managed to outlast Brady. Tauson failed to serve out the match at *7-6 as it was now Brady’s turn to produced some resolute and dogged defence down match point. Brady’s fourth match point save was a tremendous gasp-inducing backhand winner. Tauson would not be denied as she served out the match at the second time of asking and on her fifth match point. If you’re looking for some tennis to watch back from Tuesday’s OOP, the 3rd set of Tauson-Brady is where to start.
Siegemund saves seven set points, d. Mladenovic in straights
Bringing the drama that we all crave, Laura Siegemund won an entertaining clash under the roof against Kristina Mladenovic, 7-5 6-3. The story of the match was a wild opener that turned on a missed double bounce. On a Mladenovic set point, leading 5-1, Siegemund got away with a clear double bounce that the umpire missed (see Eurosport tweet below). From there on, Siegemund cut out the unforced errors and toughed out some close games, eventually saving seven (!) set points to win six straight games and the first set.
It was a very unfortunate call for Mladenovic. The Frenchwoman did earn many further opportunities to seal the set that she didn’t convert. It was obvious that it was a double bounce for Siegemund and it’s no surprise at all that she didn’t call it. If it was me, i’d have too much of a conscience not to own up. It is what it is and Siegemund went onto win in straights, playing a fine second set. Siegemund continued to persist with an aggressive mentality and keep the error count low.
For someone as crafty on clay as Siegemund, i’m surprised this was only her second main draw win at Roland Garros. Next up for Siegemund is Julia Goerges.
Kenin through in three
Sofia Kenin won her first match on clay this year, recovering from an early break down in the third set to beat Liudmila Samsonova, 6-4 3-6 6-3. In a match that was halted several times for the rain, Samsonova levelled at one set all with some powerful hitting and 16 winners in the second set. Even down an early break in the third set, I wasn’t worried for Kenin. The Australian Open champ produced some controlled hitting and her backhand shone in the final few games.
Kenin’s last match on tour was the 0-6 0-6 loss to Victoria Azarenka in Rome. I admire Kenin’s resilience and she’s a cracking match player. She put that one vs. Azarenka well behind her to advance to the second round where she will play Ana Bogdan.
LOL moment 🤣
Omg this made me laugh so much.
Favourite snap 📸
Gorgeous shot by Jimmie48.
Recommended media 📺
Thanks to Alan Reed on Twitter for this – it sadly got missed yesterday but a big moment for the 19-year-old, Clara Burel, who scored her first Slam main draw win in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Day 4 watchlist 📺
Serena Williams vs. Tsvetana Pironkova: A US Open rematch! The pair’s last meeting on the clay was at Roland Garros 13 years ago. Pironkova is full of confidence right now but i’m sticking with Serena.
Iga Swiatek vs. Hsieh Su-Wei: Ring the bells for a first career meeting. I’m going for Swiatek after her statement first round win over Vondrousova and because I think she is much more comfortable on clay than Hsieh.
Eugenie Bouchard vs. Daria Gavrilova: This feels like a blast from the past. Heart says Gavrilova, head says Bouchard.
Kiki Bertens vs. Sara Errani: Errani leads the H2H, 5-0 but the pair haven’t played since the Rio Olympics when Errani was the higher ranked player. A mild upset alert perhaps? I’d still go for Bertens assuming she’s not bothered by the foot/achilles injury from Strasbourg.
Elise Mertens vs. Kaia Kanepi: In their only previous meeting, which I vaguely remember, Kanepi beat Mertens in Charleston with a glorious scoreline, 0-6 6-0 7-5. Mertens the favourite based on her supreme consistency but I think we all know to expect the unexpected with Kanepi.