Venus Williams loses in 1st round at Roland Garros
PARIS – (AP) – The latest news from Roland-Garros (all times in local time):
Venus Williams finished second at Roland Garros 19 years ago, but has now lost her opener on clay for the fourth year in a row.
The American veteran in her 24th appearance at Roland Garros lost 6-3, 6-1 against Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Andrey Rublev, seventh seed, lost in the first round of Roland Garros.
The 23-year-old Russian lost to German player Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 3-6, 6-4.
This is the first time Rublev has lost so early at Roland Garros since making his tournament debut in 2017.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova said on Instagram that she had withdrawn from Roland Garros due to an ankle injury.
Kvitova says she fell and injured her ankle during “post-game press inquiries” after her first round victory.
She calls it “unbelievably bad luck” and hopes to recover in time for the grass season.
Wimbledon begins June 28. She won this Grand Slam tournament in 2011 and 2014.
11th seed Kvitova saved a match point before coming back to beat Greet Minnen 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-1 on Sunday at Roland Garros.
She was semi-finalist in Paris in 2012 and 2020.
Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty overcame a daunting challenge from Bernarda Pera to win her first match at Roland Garros since winning the 2019 Roland Garros title.
Barty played with his left thigh bandaged and struggled before receiving medical treatment early in the deciding set. Barty improved and ultimately took advantage of Pera’s lack of consistency to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Barty says “I keep fighting. I keep trying.”
Barty won in Paris two years ago and decided not to defend his title last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The first round match between Ashleigh Barty and Bernarda Pera at Roland Garros has been put on hold so the top-ranked Australian can receive medical treatment.
On his return to Roland Garros two years after winning the title in Paris, Barty played with his left thigh bandaged and struggled in his movement. She called a physio on the field after her opponent from the United States tied at one set each.
Barty played 13 clay court games in preparation for the French Open, winning 11. But she was forced to retire in the quarterfinals in Rome due to a right arm injury.
Teenage Wild Card Océane Babel’s inexperience was too difficult to overcome for her Roland Garros debut.
Facing fifth seed Elina Svitolina, the 17-year-old Frenchwoman led 5-2 in the second set but ultimately lost 6-2, 7-5 on the Philippe Chatrier court.
Babel had not played a WTA level match before. Svitolina said it was also a challenge for her as she didn’t know anything about Babel.
“I just knew she was left-handed and I have to be ready for anything,” she said.
Australian Open finalist Jennifer Brady overtook Anastasija Sevastova to reach the second round and match her best performance at the French Open.
The 13th-seeded American, who never reached the third round at Roland Garros, won 6-3, 6-3 after breaking Sébastova for love in the last match.
Brady is not a clay expert. She only played one surface tournament last year, losing her opener at Roland Garros. She had her best result on clay earlier this season when she qualified for the third round in Madrid in preparation for Roland Garros.
Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty returns to Court Philippe Chatrier to play her first match since winning the title at Roland Garros two years ago.
Barty decided not to defend his title in Paris last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Australian right-hander will start her campaign against the American Bernarda Pera.
The playing conditions in Paris are excellent, with hot and dry weather expected to last throughout the third day.
In the men’s draw, 13-time champion Rafael Nadal will start his bid for a 21st major title against Alexei Popyrin. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who lost to Nadal in last year’s final, will face Tennys Sandgren in the night session.
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