Just as it happened on Sunday, two men’s seeds fell along with two women’s seeds on the second day of the French Open on Monday. Among notable winners; Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, Tomas Berdych, Gael Monfils, Carla Suarez Navarro and Victoria Azarenka entered the second round. Top seed Novak Djokovic, nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and women’s top seed Serena Williams will play their first round matches on Tuesday.
Andy Murray opened his Roland Garros campaign with straight sets victory over Argentine lucky loser Facundo Argueello on Monday. Dressed in Black, the world no.3 displayed his power and the new-found confidence on clay. The 22-year Argueello found it difficult to stand against the Scotsman, who has had 11 straight wins on clay this season including one against Clay-King Nadal at the Mutua Madrid Open. Dropping just 7 games in the match, Murray outclassed Argueello 6-3 6-3 6-1. The Scot has been drawn in the same half as Djokovic and Nadal and if he goes through the fourth round, he could play world no. 8 David Ferrer in quarterfinals.
Defending women’s champion Maria Sharapova won her first round but she was booed by the crowd for refusing to stop for an on-court TV interview. Sharapova played against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi, who reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros three years ago. The match was played in windy conditions and Sharapova looked unsettled at times. The Russian, however, came through with a 6-2, 6-4 win to set-up the second round clash with her Fed Cup teammate Vitalia Diatchenko. Women’s 14th seed and former world no.2 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland was shocked by Germany’s Annika Beck in her first-round match. Radwanska had beaten Beck in 2014 Indian Wells Master 6-0, 6-0 but Beck reversed that with an impressive 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 win over the Pole. In her 34 Grand Slam appearances, this was the third first-round loss for the 26-year old Radwanska, who had tears streaming on her face after the match.
World no. 4 Tomas Berdych carried on with his good clay performance this season in defeating Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka 6-0, 7-5, 6-3. The 29-year-old Czech will come face-to-face with his Davis Cup teammate Radek Stepanek in the second round. As the biggest second-day casualty, men’s 11th seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain fell in the first round playing against world no.74 Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia. Lopez offered some resistance in the second set but finally lost 3-6, 6-7, 3-6 to the Russian. French showman no. 13 seed Gael Monfils stuttered in the second set before cruising through with a 6-2, 6-7, 6-1, 7-5 victory over compatriot Eduoard Roger-Vasselin. Monfils will meet Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in the second round.
All three bright stars from Australia entered the second round. 19-year old wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis defeated Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2 while 27th seed Bernard Tomic saw off Italy’s Luca Vanni 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. And the most promising of these; 29th seeded Nick Kyrgios went through with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. Unfortunately one Australian has to go out of French Open since Kokkinakis and Tomic will face off for a place in the third round. The winner between the two will also have a tough time because top seed Novak Djokovic will be waiting to swallow him next.
Spani’s eighth seed Carla Suarez Navarro, quarterfinalist in 2008 and 2014 won against Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-2, 6-2. Navarro has been billed as a dark horse of the Roland Garros this year with her terrific form on clay this season. Home favorite no.29 seed Alize Cornet defeated Roberta Vinci 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 and another Frenchwoman and wildcard Amandine Hesse played superbly to oust Australia’s Jarmila Gajdosova 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. Germany’s 11th seed Angelique Kerber, title winner at Charleston and Stuttgart this season made short work of Timea Babos of Hungary 6-0, 6-1 in just 50 minutes. In another impressive win in women’s draw, Former world no.1 Belarusian Victoria Azarenka defeated Spain’s Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-2, 6-1.
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