- 2020-09-28 12:53:33Z
This unseasonal French Open, played in a twilight zone of frosty winds and low cloud, left Serena Williams struggling to reach operating temperature. For the opening hour of her match against Kristie Ahn, Williams was so sluggish and rooted to the spot that she could have been playing French cricket in the back garden with her daughter Olympia. There were double-faults and shanked forehands, stumbles and wild volleys. It was only when Ahn served for the first set that Williams discovered a sense of urgency. Finally, the motor began to warm, and a hint of energy could be seen in those previously leaden feet. Williams broke back, before sweeping through the tie-break by a comfortable 7-2...
No matter how much success they've had over the years, and to this day, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal both profess to deal with doubts. Both began this French Open with straight-set victories against overmatched foes in Court Philippe Chatrier on Monday. Williams already has 23, the most by anyone in the professional era; one more will allow her to tie Margaret Court's all-era mark.
Not too long ago, Jack Sock was ranked No. 8. Then he went through a series of results he calls ''horrific,'' leading to doubts about whether he might never again win a Grand Slam match. Now the 28-year-old American feels his tennis game is back in gear and he has his first French Open win since 2016 to prove it.
No sooner had Andy Murray come off court on Sunday evening, devastated by the fastest defeat of his grand-slam career, than the seven-time major champion Mats Wilander was advising him to retire. Such harsh conclusions are unusual in tennis, a sport so genteel that it has turned racket-smashing into a fineable office. And yet, while it might sound unnecessarily brutal, Wilander's broadside could be the best thing that has happened to Murray all year. Murray feeds off criticism. During his long journey back from debilitating hip arthritis, he was rumoured to have torn out a couple of articles that questioned his chances of recovery and pinned them up on his kitchen wall. Recently, though,...
Claycourt master Rafael Nadal started his quest for a record-extending 13th French Open title with a straightforward 6-4 6-4 6-2 first-round win against Belarusian Egor Gerasimov. The Spaniard, looking to equal Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam men's singles titles, is used to slow starts at Roland Garros and this year's debut was no different. On the revamped court Philippe Chatrier, whose roof stayed open throughout, Nadal converted all of his five break points to set up a meeting with American Mackenzie McDonald. The second seed, who had complained about the new balls being too heavy, did not appear too bothered in front of some 200 fans, wrapping up the match with a service...
Dominic Thiem felt right at home in the cold of the French Open on Monday. While most players have complained about the chilly weather conditions at Roland Garros, the third-seeded Thiem had no such concerns as he advanced to the second round by beating Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. The temperature on Court Philippe Chatrier dropped as low as 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit).
Swede Wilander's comments came after three-time Grand Slam champion Murray's first-round defeat by Stan Wawrinka at the French Open on Sunday in which he won only six games. It was former world number one Murray's joint-worst loss at a Grand Slam and came on his return to the French Open after a three-year absence, during which he has had two hip surgeries.
Felix Auger-Aliassime's main draw debut at the French Open ended in brutal fashion with a first-round exit as the Canadian was humbled 7-5 6-3 6-3 by Yoshihito Nishioka on Monday. The 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime, in his second senior appearance at Roland Garros after losing in qualifying in 2018, never found his range under threatening skies on Court Nine. Nishioka dropped serve early in the first set before taking control of the rallies and benefiting from his 19th-seeded opponent's 58 unforced errors.
Fifth seed Kiki Bertens recovered from a poor start against French Open debutant Katarina Zavatska to reach the second round with a 2-6 6-2 6-0 victory on Monday. Dutchwoman Bertens was all at sea in the first set as the 20-year-old Zavatska took advantage of her errors. Ukraine's Zavatska needed eight set points to seal the opener but claycourt specialist Bertens, a semi-finalist here in 2016, began to shake off the rust to take the second set.
The first match after a major career breakthrough is always a potential banana skin but Dominic Thiem avoided any French Open slip-up with an impressive defeat of Marin Cilic on Monday. It was perhaps closer than the 6-4 6-3 6-3 scoreline suggested but Austrian third seed Thiem sent out a clear message that having won the U.S. Open he is hungry for more.
Kristie Ahn vs Serena Williams, French Open first round: live score and latest updates
Sunday's scenes from Roland Garros - which saw millionaire athletes remonstrating with officials over the wet and wintry conditions in Paris - have struck a nerve with recreational players across Britain. And not in a good way. The majority of amateur enthusiasts in this country have no access to indoor facilities. Were they to draw the line at playing in eight-degree temperatures, swirling winds and light drizzle, they would barely touch a racket between October and April. The prime offender was Victoria Azarenka, the former world No1 and recent US Open finalist, who reacted angrily when the umpire asked her to sit down for a couple of minutes while a heavier shower blew over. "I'm not...
Petra Kvitova is through to the French Open second round after a 6-3, 7-5 win against Oceane Dodin under the new roof on Court Philippe Chatrier. Ranked 11th, she is the No. 7 seed at Roland Garros. A forehand hit wide by 118th-ranked Dodin gave Kvitova a break of serve in the second set.
Czech seventh seed Petra Kvitova put in a power-packed show to beat Oceane Dodin 6-3 7-5 on Monday and breeze into the second round of the French Open. "We never played each other before, not even in practice," Kvitova said in her on-court interview. Kvitova, who reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2012, lost only two points in her service games in the opening set and broke Dodin in the eighth game to take the lead.
Fourteenth-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini and 19th-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime both lost in the first round of the French Open. Fognini lost 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-0 to Mikhail Kukushkin and Auger-Aliassime was beaten 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 by Yoshihito Nishioka. It was the 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime's first main-draw appearance at Roland Garros.
Tennis players arriving for tournaments in Australia may be able to compete during their mandatory two-week coronavirus quarantine, the country's tennis chief has said.
Murray, a former world number one, was given a wild card into the French Open but dropped out in the opening round on Sunday with a 6-1 6-3 6-2 loss to Stan Wawrinka -- his joint-worst loss at a Grand Slam. Murray, who returned to singles action last year after multiple hip surgeries, won the Antwerp title in October -- a result that raised hopes he could again challenge at the top.
Rafael Nadal embarks Monday on what he has described as his "most difficult ever Roland Garros" while Serena Williams launches another attempt to clinch an elusive 24th Grand Slam title on her least successful surface.
Andrey Rublev charged back from 5-3 down in the deciding set of the Hamburg European Open final to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas for his third title of 2020.
Kei Nishikori reached the second round of the French Open by beating 32nd-seeded Dan Evans during a match featuring 15 breaks of serve.
PARIS (AP) -- A quick look at the French Open:
Alexander Zverev has won his first match since blowing a two-set lead and losing a fifth-set tiebreaker in the U.S. Open final.
Stan Wawrinka overwhelmed Andy Murray in straight sets on his way to winning in the first round of the French Open.
An empty Court Suzanne Lenglen made an appropriately surreal setting for Johanna Konta's latest grand-slam misadventure. Playing against teenage phenomenon Coco Gauff, Konta's radar went so badly awry that she must have been glad there were no fans there to watch. A tally of 41 unforced errors in this 6-3, 6-3 defeat meant that Gauff was effectively starting every game 30-0 up. Indeed, it was the kind of match where you crossed your fingers every time the ball was struck. Gauff herself was not exempt from the jitters, committing 12 double-faults with her sketchy new service action. But her tactic of using slow slices to disrupt Konta's rhythm proved brilliantly effective. Both women wore...
After a miserable day of perpetual twilight in Paris, Andy Murray was forced to deny that the sun is setting on his own magnificent career. An inquest was inevitable after his 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 defeat at the hands of Stan Wawrinka, a result that equalled his heaviest-ever loss at a major. Mats Wilander, the seven-time slam champion and Eurosport pundit, put the case for the prosecution most strongly. After what was an uncomfortably one-sided affair on Court Philippe Chatrier, Wilander asked why Murray is still trying to recapture former glories - and even went on to accuse him of the tennis equivalent of bed-blocking. "I worry about Andy Murray," said Wilander. "I would love to hear him say...
Nadal needs seven victories to bring up a century of wins at Roland Garros and collect a record-extending 13th title but the Spaniard knows he will face unprecedented tests over the next two weeks hitting an unfamiliar heavy ball in the biting cold. "Conditions here probably are the most difficult for me ever in Roland Garros for so many different facts," Nadal, seeded second behind world number one Novak Djokovic, told reporters. Another major challenge for Nadal may be his lack of match practice, having played just three matches on clay since the 2019 French Open.
American teenager Coco Gauff made an impressive return to the Grand Slam stage when she brushed aside last year's semi-finalist Johanna Konta 6-3 6-3 in her main draw debut at the French Open to advance into the second round on Sunday. Less than a month after a first-round exit at the U.S. Open, Gauff was all business on a floodlit Court Suzanne Lenglen in front of a dozen spectators in chilly Parisian weather. The 16-year-old, the youngest player in the main draw whose best result at a Grand Slam was reaching the fourth round at the Australian Open earlier this year, will next face Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan.
Top-seeded Simona Halep won 10 straight games in beating Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-0 to reach the second round of the French Open on Sunday and extend her winning streak to 15 matches. ''It was really special day playing on Roland Garros on my birthday,'' she said. Wearing thick black leggings and a long-sleeved pink jersey to combat the chilly conditions on Court Philippe Chatrier, the 2018 champion made a series of unforced errors and trailed 4-2.
Was there an element of the bad workman blaming his tools as Dan Evans grumbled about "balls you wouldn't give a dog to chew" after losing to Kei Nishikori? Perhaps, but then Evans is not the first man to get stuck into the French Open's new Wilson balls. On Friday night, no less an expert than Rafael Nadal complained that their extra size and weight - as compared to the old Babolats - would be "dangerous for the elbow and the shoulders". Throughout this five-set match, Evans kept shaking balls by his ear and throwing the ones that displeased him to umpire Renaud Lichtenstein, who then hid them away in his pockets. After Nishikori had sealed his 1-6, 6-1, 7-6, 1-6, 6-4 victory in 3hr...
When the email landed to say they had been selected to be among the very few spectators allowed into Roland Garros this year, Jean-Baptiste Guinchard and his sister Anne-Lise were so astounded to have luck that good that they immediately went out and bought lottery tickets. Ticket-holders, capped at just 1,000 per day, found themselves disconcerted, lacking bearings, as they rattled almost alone around the usually jam-packed Roland Garros tournament site on Paris' western fringes, with a luxury of empty seats and their pick of matches to choose from. ''It's surreal, so strange,'' said Jean-Baptiste Guinchard, a theater actor.
As the rescheduled French Open got underway in Paris, tennis became a winter sport. On the sunken courts below the stylish new Allée des Princes, a group of soaked, bone-chilled players tried to pretend that it was just another day at the office. "Paris in the fall - it's definitely different," said the USA's Shelby Rogers, who became the first player to be knocked out of the tournament at around 12.10pm. "Is it fit to play? It's up to the umpire, as they see it from their covered chair. You toss the ball, you're getting rain in your eye. I think we should have stopped maybe a couple of times." The French government has decreed that only a thousand spectators should be allowed into Roland...
Venus Williams said she was "not looking forward yet" to 2021 after suffering a third successive first round exit at the French Open on Sunday with a loss in straight sets to Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
Kei Nishikori has reached the second round of the French Open by beating 32nd-seeded Dan Evans 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-4 in a match featuring 15 breaks of serve. The 30-year-old Nishikori has reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros three times, including last year. Venus Williams has been knocked out in the first round of the French Open for the third straight year, losing 6-4, 6-4 to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
Andrey Rublev charged back from 5-3 down in the deciding set of the Hamburg Open final to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday and head to the French Open with his third title of 2020. The Russian took the win 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 after Tsitsipas double-faulted on match point - his sixth double-fault of the match. Rublev's three tour titles this year after wins in Qatar and Adelaide are the most of any player on the tour besides Novak Djokovic.
Venus Williams has been knocked out in the first round of the French Open for the third straight year, losing 6-4, 6-4 to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. The 40-year-old American is 0-3 in Grand Slams this year following first-round exits at the Australian Open and the U.S. Open. There were only a handful of spectators watching their match in chilly conditions on Court Simone Mathieu.
Former French Open runner-up Venus Williams suffered her second successive first-round loss in a Grand Slam as she went down 6-4 6-4 to Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova on Sunday. With a chill wind blowing and drizzle falling on the Simonne-Mathieu arena, the 40-year-old Williams began strongly but got bogged down in a baseline battle on a slow surface. The American has now fallen in the opening round at the French Open for the past three years.
Top-seeded Simona Halep won 10 straight games in beating Sara Sorribes Tormo to reach the second round of the French Open.
As the year's last Grand Slam began in Paris, Rublev and Tsitsipas were almost 900 kilometres away in northern Germany, battling for the ATP 500 crown at Am Rothenbaum. After sharing the first two sets, second seed Tsitsipas looked in control with a 5-3 lead in the decider but was denied the trophy by a late Rublev comeback.
Romanian top seed Simona Halep started slowly before hitting top gear against Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo to celebrate her 29th birthday with a breezy 6-4 6-0 win in the French Open first round on Sunday. The former world number one, who won her maiden Grand Slam at Roland Garros in 2018, took her winning streak to 15, dating back to her Dubai victory in February shortly before the professional circuit shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Halep did not travel to New York for the U.S. Open due to concerns over the pandemic and spent her time playing on the claycourts in Europe.
David Goffin has become the first seeded player to be knocked out of the French Open. The 11th-seeded Belgian lost 7-5, 6-0, 6-3 to 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner, who beat Goffin for the second time this year after winning on hard courts at Rotterdam in February. Sinner showcased his talent as one of the world's best young players by winning the Next Gen ATP Finals last year.
Italian teenager Jannik Sinner upset 11th seed David Goffin in a breezy 7-5 6-0 6-3 victory on his French Open debut on Sunday to confirm his status as one of the most exciting talents in men's tennis. The 19-year-old, who won last year's NextGen ATP Finals title, had won his only previous meeting against Goffin in straight sets in the second round at Rotterdam this year. Playing the first match under the new roof of court Philippe Chatrier and the opening match of the tournament, Sinner showed he belonged on the big stage.
Gone are the queues of spectators and gone is the sun as the French Open kicked off in underwhelming fashion on Sunday with persistent drizzle and a chill wind sweeping the almost-empty Roland Garros grounds. Matches were suspended on the other two main courts - Suzanne Lenglen and Simonne Mathieu - after 15 minutes, with former world number one Victoria Azarenka fuming about the conditions.
Former world number one Victoria Azarenka complained about the playing conditions at the French Open amid light drizzle and low temperatures during her 6-1 6-2 first-round victory on Sunday. The U.S. Open runner-up, who entered court Suzanne Lenglen wearing a thick pink puffer jacket, and her opponent Danka Kovinic walked off the court after play was suspended with Belarusian Azarenka leading 2-1. "No, it's eight degrees, I live in Florida, I'm used to hot weather," a furious Azarenka told the supervisor who asked her to wait on court until a decision was made on whether the match should continue.
Roland Garros got underway in the "ridiculous" cold of Paris on Sunday still in the grip of the coronavirus which organisers had hoped they would escape by unilaterally pushing back the clay court Grand Slam event by four months.
Roland Garros gets underway in chilly, damp Paris on Sunday still in the grip of the coronavirus which organisers had hoped they would escape by unilaterally pushing back the clay court Grand Slam event by four months.
RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING IN SHOT NUMBER 4 IN SHOTLIST SHOWS: PARIS, FRANCE (SEPTEMBER 26, 2020) (FFT - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE) 1. VARIOUS OF NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND DOMINIC THIEM BEFORE PRACTICE SESSION TOGETHER 2. VARIOUS OF THIEM 3. VARIOUS OF DJOKOVIC 4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER ONE AND 2016 CHAMPION, NOVAK DJOKOVIC, ON OVERCOMING HIS U.S. OPEN EXIT, SAYING: "Well, it was a very unusual situation that happened. We see, never happened in my career previously and hopefully it will never happen again. It...
Stefanos Tsitsipas beat clay-court specialist Christian Garin in the Hamburg Open semifinals to set up a final against Andrey Rublev.
After the dankest, coldest and most downbeat build-up to a major in living memory, Great Britain's leading players face a day of reckoning. Handed a trio of hostile draws by the French Open's computer, Andy Murray, Johanna Konta and Dan Evans must play for national pride on Sunday at Roland Garros. Should they fail, then 2020 will surely go down as the worst ever year for British singles players at the grand slams. Admittedly, Wimbledon was cancelled, which didn't help. But apart from that, the only person to reach the third round of a major this season was Cameron Norrie, who snuck into the last 32 of the recent US Open. The statistic demonstrates how valuable it was to have a banker...
Stefanos Tsitsipas continued his impressive tune-up for the French Open by beating clay-court specialist Christian Garin in the Hamburg Open semifinals on Saturday to set up a final against Andrey Rublev. Tsitsipas' run to the Hamburg final has seen him recover from his third-round exit at the U.S. Open and a first-round elimination in Rome last week in his first clay tournament of the year. The man standing between Tsitsipas and his second title of 2020 is Andrey Rublev after the Russian beat Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-2 in the first semifinal.
PARIS (AP) -- A glance at the French Open, the third and final Grand Slam tennis tournament of 2020: