Seven seeds advanced and five seeds tumbled out, including a Top 10er and former Serena Williams nemesis, on Monday at Roland Garros.
No. 7 Roberta Vinci, who ended the world No. 1’s quest for a Grand Slam last year in the US Open semifinals, was upended 6-1, 6-3 by the Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko.
Three other seeds narrowly avoided Vinci’s fate, pressed to the limit on the red dirt as No. 4 Garbine Muguruza outlasted Slovak Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 3-6, 6-3, 6-3; No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova stopped Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova 4-6, 6-1, 6-4; and No. 25 Irina-Camelia Begu came from a set down to beat American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 5-7, 6-1, 6-3.
“I like to watch my games afterwards, whether I won or lost,” said Muguruza, who will have a lot to watch, and who will next meet French wildcard Myrtille Georges. While struggling, Muguruza eventually stretched Schmiedlova recent losing streak to 12 straight matches. “I like to look at the body language, in which moments or why I lost certain points or what I did wrong. It really opens your eyes.”
Other seeded winners on the day were No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska rolling Bojana Jovanovski 6-0, 6-2; No. 6 Simona Halep bageling Nao Hibino 6-2, 6-0 in just 43 minutes; No. 19 Sloane Stephens handling Margarita Gasparyan 6-4, 6-3; and No. 30 Barbora Strycova beating Czech countrywoman Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 7-5.
“It was cold and windy,” said Radwanska, who will next meet France’s Caroline Garcia. “That’s why it was a little bit slow and the ball is not going anywhere. I think we [are] all kind of used to that after couple of days here. The conditions are same for both of us.”
Radwanska said of Garcia, “That’s for sure going to be different match. I guess she’s on fire winning last week. She’s a good hitter and we had couple of good matches, long ones. Going to be a good match, especially here where she’s playing at home.”
Halep, winning in a zebra-striped top, will next face Zarina Diyas, who was a three-set winner Monday over Carina Witthoeft.
“I feel more confident now playing on clay court,” Halep said. “I had good matches in Madrid. The title is really important for me — it means a lot…Everyone can see that I play aggressive, I play my game…Sometimes I have bad attitude. But it’s normal, and when the pressure is on, you cannot control everything. But I’m better. I’m stronger now. And I keep working to get better.”
Former French Open runner-up and No. 16 seed Sara Errani also exited Monday, upset by Bulgarian fast-court specialist Tsvetana Pironkova 6-3, 6-2.
Joining in the upset shenanigans were American Shelby Rogers who shocked No. 17 Karolina Pliskova 3-6, 6-4, 6-3; and Japan’s Naomi Osaka who ground down No. 32 Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 7-5.
“Moving is really fun on [clay],” Rogers said. “The points are always a little more versatile, you do a lot of different things. It’s a little bit slower so I do think I can hit through the court but I have a little bit more time to pick my shots. It’s a lot of fun, for sure.”
Matches to look for on Tuesday in Paris include (3) Angelique Kerber vs. Kiki Bertens, (1) Serena Williams vs. Magdalena Rybarikova, former French champ Francesca Schiavone vs. (26) Kristina Mladenovic, France’s Oceane Dodin vs. (14) Ana Ivanovic, (9) Venus Williams vs. Anett Kontaveit, (15) Madison Keys vs. Croat comer Donna Vekic, (20) Johanna Konta vs. big-hitter Julia “Gorgeous” Goerges, and the streaking Laura Siegemund vs. the non-streaking Eugenie Bouchard.
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