Gauff Sends Konta Home, Halep, Azarenka Advance; Serena Headlines French Open Monday
by Staff | September 27th, 2020, 9:31 pm
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American teen sensation Coco Gauff made a successful French Open debut on Sunday cruising past 2019 semifinalist Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-3.

The match was far from good as Gauff continued to have serving issues tossing in 12 double faults while Konta contributed 41 unforced errors to just 22 winners.

“I don’t really take anything for granted, because I’m just happy to be playing,” said Gauff. “I don’t think maybe winning matches at slams is something I’m used to, especially this is my first main draw at Roland Garros. When I’m on the court, I can act like I’m used to it. When I’m off the court, I’m just happy to be here.”

Konta lost in the first round at the French for a fifth time in six years.

“I’m playing against another professional who is doing very well and who is obviously playing very good tennis,” Konta said. “It doesn’t really matter how old she is.

“I think the age and those things, I think that’s a factor for you guys and for public interest and for sponsors and for things like that. But as a fellow competitor, that’s got nothing to do with us competing out on court.”

Tournament favorite Simona Halep celebrated her 29th birthday by upping her win streak to a career-best 15 after thumping Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-0. The Romanian was down 4-2 early before running away with the match in the cool conditions under the Chatrier roof.

“The perfect present was that I won today, of course,” Halep said. “It was a really special day playing on Roland Garros on my birthday. So it’s going to be pretty unique, maybe forever.”

Victoria Azarenka didn’t the luxury of a roof outside where the rain played a role in addition to the wind and the cold, but the Belarussian got through Danka Kovinic, 6-1, 6-2.

“When I was warming up it was already drizzling. So when it drizzles for about two hours in a row, it kind of gets a little heavier,” Azarenka said of the delay early in the first. “It’s very tricky at the moment to have these conditions.

“We talked with the supervisor. She was very kind to let us know that there was another heavier cloud to go by, once that passes, we’re going to go on the court, so we were ready to play whenever they called us.”

Venus Williams lost her third straight first round at the French Open, falling to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in straight sets. And Caroline Garcia thrilled the locals upended Anett Kontaveit in three set.

Eugenie Bouchard, Daria Gavrilova and Yulia Putintseva were also winners.

On Monday, 3-time champion Serena Williams opens play against countrywoman Kristie Ahn. Former semifinalists Petra Kvitova, Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens are also in action.

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