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Svitolina erases early deficit at French Open

29 May, 2018, 02:08 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Rafael Nadal

Wawrinka, who lost to Nadal in last year's final, showed little positive sign of coming back from his knee injury, as he lost to Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3.

Rafael Nadal is aiming for title No 11 at Roland Garros - will anyone stop the King of Clay? The question and real concern for Zverev has been being able to bottle that sort of form at Masters level and bring it into a Grand Slam as he is yet to make it past the fourth round of the four biggest tournaments on the tennis calendar.

"There is no frustration (at rankings slip). It's just tough", said Wawrinka, who was beaten in last year's French Open final by world number one Rafael Nadal.

"I'm not trying to think that, you know, I'm going to play Rafa in the final".

Then he was trying to learn mentally what it means and what it takes to go the best of five sets. The same Grand Slam tournament, the same opening round, the same opponent as last year, but at Roland Garros this year the American slumped 4-6, 5-7 to China's Wang Qiang.

"It was good to start this year with a win".

It's a poor return for a player of such pedigree, but expect all of that to change very soon, starting at Roland Garros.

Halep remains the obvious favourite and her draw isn't bad, while I do expect Svitolina to make the breakthrough at a Slam sooner rather than later so wouldn't be surprised for her to go all the way.

As Monday's match stretched to 3½ hours, Wawrinka was hindered by the physical strain of playing a fifth set for the first time since his French Open semifinal victory over Andy Murray a year ago.

Rafael Nadal
GETTYRafael Nadal is the overwhelming favourite for the 2018 French Open

The tournament favourite did have his break chances but couldn't covert a single look until the 10th game (at 5-4), when he pushed the pace and grabbed his first break to win the set. After returning to the tour following the birth of her daughter, the 36-year-old suffered early defeats to sister Venus and Naomi Osaka in Indian Wells and Miami respectively.

As the year's second Grand Slam kicks off, we take a look at the contenders, what is at stake and what they have going for them. She was No. 1 when she left the tour to give birth, but is now ranked No. 451.

The 2018 French Open will feel like old times.

Former top-ranked player Victoria Azarenka has bowed out of the French Open in the first round, beaten 7-5, 7-5 by Katerina Siniakova.

"It's very easy to say, 'Oh, you know, they are not seeded, it's awful, bad rules.' But there are a lot of things that are going into this rule and into the thought process".

Second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki withstood challenge from Danielle Collins of the United States to move past the women's singles first round 7-6 (2), 6-1.

Federer, who took his major haul to 20 by winning this year's Australian Open, has opted to skip Roland Garros for the second year running to concentrate on retaining his Wimbledon title.

Argentinian Marco Trungelliti had embarked on a nine-hour drive from Barcelona to Paris on Sunday - and it proved well worth it.

Day 2 is underway at Roland Garros, with Petra Kvitova taking on V. Cepede Royg in her round-one match.


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