French Open: Rafael Nadal stays on course, Barty fends off first challenger
Rafael Nadal launched his bid for a record-extending 14th French Open title with a 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) win over Australian Alexei Popyrin on Tuesday, but not before the world No. 63 put up a bit of a fight.
Local favourite Gael Monfils beat Spain’s Albert Ramos Vinolas 1-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-4.
Top seed Ashleigh Barty managed to play through an injury problem and stave off an upset against Bernarda Pera with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win.
Fifth seed Elina Svitolina survived a scare to beat teenage debutante Oceane Babel 6-2, 7-5 in the 17-year-old Parisian’s first senior Grand Slam appearance.
Former champion Venus Williams exited in the first round for the fourth year running, beaten 3-6, 1-6 by Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Following a freak accident on Sunday, Petra Kvitova has withdrawn from the tournament. “It is with great disappointment that I announce my withdrawal from Roland Garros,” the 11th seed tweeted.
India’s Rohan Bopanna and Franko Skugor of Croatia sailed into the men’s doubles second round with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Gerogia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili and Andre Begemann of Germany.
On Monday, Serena Williams won the first scheduled night session in French Open history as she beat Irina-Camelia Begu 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 under the lights. But what grabbed the attention of fans were the details on the 39-year-old’s shoes, including a range of motivational slogans and the name of her daughter Olympia.
Sixth seed Bianca Andreescu lost a three-hour marathon against Tamara Zidansek and Garbine Muguruza was outplayed by Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk.