Swiatek Starts Slow, Then Rolls At French Open; Gauff, Andreescu Rally; Pegula v Giorgi Wed.
Iga Swiatek had a slow start to her French Open title defense. The world No. 1 who dropped just one game to her opponent Cristina Bucsa at the Australian, but today went down a break before rolling 6-4, 6-0.
The two traded breaks early with Busca ahead 3-2 before Swiatek took over winning the last eight games from 4-all.
Swiatek, who celebrates her 22nd birthday Wednesday, is now 22-2 at the French Open.
“I have a lot of experience playing here so I know this court pretty well and it’s always comfortable but I’m trying to focus only on what’s in the future,” Swiatek said.
Swiatek’s final victim last year, Coco Gauff, also got off to a rocky start dropping the opener to Rebeka Masarova before cruising 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
In the match of the day, Grand Slams winners Bianca Andreescu and Victoria Azarenka locked up with the Canadian coming through 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Azarenka led a set and a break 3-1 until Andreescu got into gear and then put away the Belarussian in a nervy final game under the lights in 2 hours, 30 minutes.
“I’m going to be honest, this match I started thinking about my grandmother because she’s getting old, and I’m very close to her,” Andreescu said. “She said, ‘Bianca, I really want to watch you win another major.’
“So I had that in the back of my head at one point when I was down 3-1. I started to get emotional too. At that point something just came out of me, and I started playing better.”
Former winner Barbora Krejcikova’s troubles in Paris continue. The 2021 champion fell in the first round for a second straight year going down to Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 6-4.
Elsewhere, Fourth-seeded Elena Rybakina toppled (53y,r) Brenda Fruhvirtova 6-4, 6-2. Ons Jabeur handled recent Rabat winner Lucia Bronzetti in straight sets 6-4, 6-1. Frenchwoman Diane Parry upset Rome finalist Anhelina Kalinina 6-2, 6-3. Italy’s Jasmine Paolini surprised the 30th-seeded Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 2-6, 6-2. Petra Martic upended No. 32 seed Shelby Rogers in a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Czech teen Linda Noskova got a retirement from Danka Kovinic at 6-3, 2-1.
It was a mixed day for the teen Andreeva sisters. Emma Navarro sent out Erika 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Her younger sister, Mirra, crushed American veteran Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-2, 6-1. And Xinyu Wang upset No. 31 seed Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 7-6(7-5).
Tomorrow, in second round play matches include No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka squaring off against Iryna Shymanovich in a first-time tour-level battle.
No. 3 Jessica Pegula faces Italian veteran Camila Giorgi. Pegula has the better of Giorgi 5-1 in their tour-level clashes including a win at Indian Wells this year.
French No. 1 Caroline Garcia will battle Anna Blinkova, 2022 semifinalist Daria Kasatkina collides with former runner-up Marketa Vondrousova, No. 15 Liudmila Samsonova gets another former finalist in Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and former champion and No. 17 seed Jelena Ostapenko squares off against Peyton Stearns.
Elina Svitolina also returns.
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