The Latest: Svitolina erases early deficit at French Open
PARIS (AP) The Latest on the French Open, the year’s second Grand Slam tennis tournament (all times local):
Two matches have been left unfinished at the French Open as play was suspended Sunday night due to darkness.
Qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania and American Christina McHale were level at one set apiece on Court 7, while Pauline Parmentier led Chloe Paquet 3-6, 7-6 (4), 3-1 on Court Suzanne Lenglen in an all-French matchup.
French Open defending champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia has lost in the first round.
The fifth-seeded Ostapenko, who upset Simona Halep in last year’s final, lost 7-5, 6-3 against Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine on Court Philippe Chatrier.
”Just amazing feeling,” said Kozlova after posting her first win over a Top 30 player.
Ostapenko became only the sixth defending women’s champion to lose in the opening round of her title defense at a major tournament.
Another seeded player has lost in the first round at Roland Garros.
The No. 22 Johanna Konta of Britain was handed an early exit on the red clay of the French Open, beaten 6-4, 6-3 by Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.
The British No. 1 has never won a match in Paris in four appearances in the main draw.
Defending champion Jelena Ostapenko has lost the opening set of her opening match at the French Open.
Fifth-seeded Ostapenko dropped the first set 7-5 against Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Ostapenko is playing her usual all-risk tennis but struggling to find the right balance. She made 29 unforced errors in the first set.
Kozlova is ranked 67th and has never beaten a Top 30 player.
In a clash between the youngest and oldest players in the men’s draw at the French Open, the youngest prevailed on remote court 7.
Playing at Roland Garros with a wild card, 19-year-old Frenchman Corentin Moutet defeated veteran Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (7), 6-2, 7-6 (5) to reach the second round.
At 39 years, 88 days, Karlovic is more than 20 years older than Moutet, one of the six teenagers in the main draw at Roland Garros.
Venus Williams is out of the French Open on the opening day.
The 2002 runner-up and ninth-seeded American lost 6-4, 7-5 to Wang Qiang of China in the first round on Court Suzanne Lenglen on Sunday.
Wang avenged her loss to Williams in the first round at Roland Garros last year. The 85th-ranked player was also beaten by Williams at Wimbledon a few weeks later and had never beaten Williams before Sunday.
It’s the fourth time Williams exits the French Open in the first round in 21 appearances.
She also lost in the first round at the Australian Open in January.
Kei Nishikori has made light work of his first Grand Slam match since Wimbledon last year, advancing to the second round of the French Open with a 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3 win against wild card Maxime Janvier of France.
Nishikori, a 28-year-old from Japan, is seeded 19th at Roland Garros. After appearing in 21 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments, he missed two in a row – last year’s U.S. Open, then the Australian Open this January – because his right wrist was not fully recovered enough from a torn tendon.
The 2-hour, 19-minute match was Janvier’s first at tour. He has never been ranked better than 228th. Nishikori has been ranked as high as No. 4.
France’s Alize Cornet is through to the second round of the French Open, beating 2012 runner-up Sara Errani of Italy 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Cornet, seeded 32nd, is playing her 14th Roland Garros after she was cleared of a doping charge by an independent tribunal earlier this month.
Cornet struggled to get into Sunday’s opening-round match on Court Philippe Chatrier.
She had 13 unforced errors in losing the first set. Errani had just three.
Having taken the second set to level the match, Cornet then double-faulted on serve to gift Errani a break at the start of the third. She broke back immediately and held serve to secure a lead she never relinquished.
Cornet had trouble closing out the victory, squandering four match points before Errani put a forehand into the net.
Nick Kyrgios has pulled out of the French Open with an injured right elbow.
Kyrgios was seeded 21st and would have faced Bernard Tomic in an all-Australian matchup in the first round.
Kyrgios will be replaced in the singles draw by someone who lost in qualifying.
He hasn’t played a singles match since April 13.
On Saturday, Kyrgios teamed up with Jack Sock of the U.S. to win a doubles title in Lyon.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens needed less than an hour to move into the second round at Roland Garros.
The 10th-seeded Stephens advanced with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands on Sunday at the French Open.
It was Stephens’ first win at a Grand Slam tournament since claiming her first major title in New York last September.
The American lost in the first round at the Australian Open in January.
Rus is ranked 106th and made it into the main draw in Paris as a ”lucky loser.”
Mohamed Safwat is the first man from Egypt to play in a Grand Slam tennis tournament’s main draw in 22 years – and he got very little notice that chance would come at the French Open.
Safwat got into the field as a ”lucky loser,” someone who failed to make it out of the qualifying rounds but is given a berth when another player withdraws. In this case, Victor Troicki pulled out Sunday because of an injured lower back.
So, the 182nd-ranked Safwat made his Grand Slam debut on Court Philippe Chatrier against No. 4-seeded Grigor Dimitrov. Not surprisingly, Dimitrov won 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (1).
Dimitrov said he only found out he’d be playing Safwat about 20 minutes beforehand.
Safwat was cheered off the court in a rousing ovation. The last Egyptian man to play at a major tournament was Tamer El Sawy at the 1996 U.S. Open.
Fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina was a point away from dropping her first set at the French Open before taking eight consecutive games and coming back to beat 68th-ranked Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-3.
Svitolina is coming off a clay-court title in Rome and is one of a half-dozen players who can move up to No. 1 in the rankings by the end of the tournament at Roland Garros.
But she started about as poorly as possible on Day 1 at the year’s second major tournament: Tomljanovic held at love for a 5-1 lead at the outset. Tomljanovic then served for the set at 5-2 and held a set point but double-faulted it away and got broken there, then again while serving for the set at 5-4.
That was all part of the eight-game run for Svitolina that gave her that set and a 2-0 lead in the second.
Svitolina has reached the quarterfinals in Paris in two of the past three years. She’s never been past that round at any Grand Slam tournament.
Venus Williams and rain are on the schedule as the year’s second Grand Slam tournament is set to start at Roland Garros.
The French Open is the only major tennis championship that begins on a Sunday, making it a 15-day event.
The forecast calls for showers in the afternoon.
In addition to seven-time major champion Williams – whose younger sister, Serena, is not in action on Day 1 as she returns to Grand Slam tennis after giving birth to a daughter – other players slated to compete include defending champ Jelena Ostapenko and reigning U.S. Open champ Sloane Stephens.
Two of the four highest-seeded men are also supposed to play: No. 2 Alexander Zverev and No. 4 Grigor Dimitrov.
More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis
- Ajla Tomljanovic
- Alize Cornet
- Arantxa Rus
- Elina Svitolina
- Grigor Dimitrov
- Ivo Karlovic
- Jelena Ostapenko
- Kateryna Kozlova
- Kei Nishikori
- Mohamed Safwat
- Nick Kyrgios
- Sara Errani
- Sloane Stephens
- Venus Williams