The tennis season’s premier clay-court championship is upon us.
The 57th-ranked Kovinic, who has never surpassed the second round of a Grand Slam, won four consecutive games to snatch the second set.
His 6-3, 6-3 win over Djokovic at the Foro Italico came on his 29th birthday.
Wawrinka has won all four previous matchups against Rosol, including last week on clay en route to taking the title in Geneva.
Perhaps seeking that extra bit of energy to take him all the way, Djokovic clearly wants to get the French fans on his side.
“The record books always affect you”, said 18-time major victor Martina Navratilova in a phone interview.
Despite heading into the tournament on the back of defeat, the 28-year-old has been pleased with his preparation.
Zverev is joined in the draw by Borna Coric, Quentin Halys and 2015 boys’ singles finalist Taylor Fritz, with Croatia’s Coric, who reached the third round in Paris a year ago, the only one to have registered multiple wins at a Grand Slam event.
The World No. 57 has had decent results on clay this year having reached the Istanbul final and she elevated her level several notches higher. Okay, Serena Williams goes in as defending champion and favourite, and winning her first title in nine months in Rome last weekend answered many questions about her form. “I tried to play longer points and with more spins in the second set, and it seemed good”.
Novak Djokovic wear a beret and a false moustache as he arrives at Roland Garros stadium in Paris. The late switch is remarkably significant, as it ensures that Nadal will not have to face Djokovic until the semifinal round.
Williams hadn’t won a title in nine months and played sparingly this year – just four tournaments – but looked good winning the Italian Open last week.
The fourth seed, who will play either Argentine Facundo Bagnis or French qualifier Kenny de Schepper in the second round, played flawless tennis, making only three unforced errors in a one-sided match.
Azarenka managed to pull out the second set, but she eventually decided not to continue.
However, she showed great character and fought valiantly to win the deciding set 7-5 and with it take the match.
Nadal has won 70 of his 72 matches at the French Open.
Serena Williams will continue her pursuit of Grand Slam history at the French Open, which begins on Sunday.
In the women’s draw, Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh beat Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, Swiss player Viktorija Golubic had a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 victory over American Alison Riske.
“It’s the Grand Slams”. “So you can stand up all of you and go back to work in the office because I didn’t say that”.
In the women’s draw, Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber lost in the first round.
Defending champion Wawrinka has endured a mixed clay season – a quarter-final in Monte Carlo, an opening loss in Madrid and just one win in Rome. The victory against an in-form Djokovic was enough to convince most that Murray could win his first French Open title. Murray is also without a full-time coach at the moment, having recently split with Amelie Mauresmo. It was his misfortune, then, to meet Stan Wawrinka-who has often given him problems in Grand Slams before-playing at his blistering best.