One of the tournament favorites, Garbine Muguruza, was nearly bounced in her first match at the French Open. The former champion was down big to Tamara Zidansek 3-0 in the third before rallying for a tough 7-5, 4-6, 8-6 victory.
“Definitely, was very difficult first round,” Muguruza said. “I know she was playing amazing tennis since the first set, so I just knew that just have to wait for my opportunities.
“I was just trying to stay calm until I saw the chance, and then I went for it.”
Muguruza also overcame a 3-0 hole in the first set against the Slovenian.
“It’s a good win. In the end, you’re out there and it was a tough battle and you manage to get the win, so it feels great,” Muguruza added.
“It’s definitely a challenge physically with the conditions and such a long match. But I’m happy. It’s always tough the first rounds.”
Serena Williams opened play against countrywoman Kristie Ahn. Ahn entered with just two career tour wins on clay, but led by a break twice in the first set, but once she dropped the opening breaker the 3-time champion rolled 7-6(2), 6-0.
“The biggest difference was just confidence,” Serena said. “I just need to play with more confidence, like I’m Serena.
“So that was it. I just started playing like that, and I love the clay and I started playing like it, opening the court and moving and sliding.”
Serena now gets a rematch with Tsevtana Pironkova who took her to three sets earlier this month in New York.
“She’s playing well, but I am too,” said Serena. “I’m ready to play her. She’ll be ready to play me. It will be a long match, she will get a lot of balls back, but so am I. I’ll be ready.”
Petra Kvitova opened the day on Chatrier with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Oceane Dodin. Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens and Amanda Anisimova were also winners.
2019 finalist Marketa Vondrousova was eliminated by Iga Swiatek 6-1, 6-2. And former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova fell to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. And Zhang Shuai upset Madison Keys.
19-year-old Kaja Juvan picked up her first French Open win upending former No. 1 Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-3.
“It doesn’t matter to me who the draw is, but when you play against players who have a lot of titles, you say to yourself, Okay, I watched them on TV when I was little, but I have to stay focused on myself,” Juvan said in her post-match press conference. “So I did what I had to do.
“But in the end, we had to wait three hours to play. And so we were trying to warm up, I was trying to stay aggressive. That’s why I won her in the end, because she’s a fantastic player.”
On Tuesday, Karolina Pliskova and Kristina Mladenovic headline on Chatrier while Australian Open champion champ Sofia Kenin is on Lenglen. Jennifer Brady and Jelena Ostapenko are also in action.
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