After one round at Roland Garros, four top 10 seeds, including defending champion Barbora Krejcikova, departing from the bottom half of the draw. For the top half, who will play Thursday, it’s been a smoother ride with only a single seed among the Top 16, No.25 Liudmila Samsonova, being jettisoned. Consequently, Day 5 in Paris will feature some terrific in-form players. No.1 Iga Swiatek, chief among them, goes for her 30th straight win when she takes on Alison Riske.
Swiatek, still only 20, has the fourth-longest streak of this century and is closing in on the third (32 by Justine Henin in 2008). In another statistic that underlines her dominance, after handing Lesia Tsurenko a 6-2, 6-0 loss in her Roland Garros opener, Swiatek has crafted an astounding 14 6-0 sets this year.
The next favorite on this side, No.3 Paula Badosa, faces Kaja Juvan, a 7-5, 7-6 (4) winner against 19-year-old Oksana Selekhmeteva. Badosa defeated Fiona Ferro 6-2, 6-0 in 55 minutes. Badosa didn’t face a break point and was nearly flawless on first serve, winning 26 of 28 points (92.9 percent), the best in this Grand Slam season, just ahead of Ashleigh Barty’s 92.6 percent against Camila Giorgi at the Australian Open.
Wednesday at Roland Garros:
“I feel lucky today,” Badosa, 24, told reporters afterwards. “I was quite nervous at the beginning, and I think I did a quite good performance. Coming back to Philippe Chatrier was special for me, as last year I left the court very, very sad.”
That 2021 defeat to Tamara Zidansek in the quarterfinals still lingers in Badosa’s consciousness. It was the first time she’d been seeded at a major (albeit, at No.33) and it was competitive to the end. The loss to Zidansek was an overtime heartbreaker, 5-7, 6-4, 6-8.
Badosa’s nerves were partly due to waiting so long to begin her match following Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s final match, a nearly four-hour affair against Casper Ruud on Chatrier.
“When I was seeing when he was retiring, he was already crying before he finished,” Badosa said, “and I got emotional in that moment as well, because I could feel what he was feeling in that moment. I remember when I was 11, 12 years old to see him play, he was so explosive and amazing player and so fun to watch.
French Open: Scores | Order of play | Draw
“When I was that age going to my coach and studying a lot of his serve, because I wanted to serve like him.”
Badosa settled in quickly, and against Ferro, she dropped only two points in the second set.
“I’m happy that I managed the nerves pretty well,” Badosa said. “I think one of the keys this year and my career will be how I manage all of these kinds of situations and all these kind of nerves.”
Mayar Sherif versus No.24 Tamara Zidansek: Sherif, the pride of Egypt, scored a WTA 125 title earlier this month in Karlsruhe, Germany, while Zidansek, a semifinalist at Roland Garros, is only 7-7 this season.
Yulia Putinitseva versus No.28 Camila Giorgi: Putinitseva upset No.8 Garbiñe Muguruza in Rome’s second round after qualifying. Giorgi is 5-7 for the year.
By the numbers
Alize Cornet of France dropped only two games in her first-round victory against Misaki Doi, but the second round brings 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. The No.13 seed handled Lucia Bronzetti 6-1, 6-4.
Cornet has been historically consistent in the Grand Slams; this is her 61St Consecutive appearance in a major, equaling Francesca Schiavone for second best in the Open era. Cornet would tie Ai Sugiyama at 62 if she lines up at Wimbledon and would break the record at the US Open. Her current ranking of No.40 suggests, if she stays healthy, she’ll do that.
Cornet is now 43-21 in first-round matches at the majors and is coming off the Australian Open, where she reached the quarterfinals for the first time in a Grand Slam – in her 63approx appearance. Cornet is one of 13 Frenchwomen in the draw, the most since 2009 and second to 15 for the United States.
“I will try to avoid making her play on her own,” Cornet said of Ostapenko, “because this is what she does best. She tends to outsmart the opponent. She’s a slugger. It also depends on which court we play. If the public supports me or not, maybe this can bother her, because you know, she’s always on the edge mentally.”
This year’s draw at Roland Garros featured 27 players who are aged 30 or older. And if the first round is any indication, maybe that trite long-ago hair coloring advertising slogan – you’re not getting older, you’re getting better – is right. More than half of the 30-somethings, 14, are into the second round:
Kaia Kanepi (36), Andrea Petkovic (34), Angelique Kerber (34), Victoria Azarenka (32), Alizé Cornet (32), Petra Kvitova (32), Sorana Cirstea (32), Madison Brengle (32), Alison Riske (31), Irina-Camelia Begu (31), Magda Linette (30), Karolina Pliskova (30), Camila Giorgi (30), Simona Halep (30)
The big upsets went to Linette, who defeated No.6 Ons Jabeur, and Kanepi, a winner against No.10 Muguruza. They’re hoping to join the women who have won a major at 30 and beyond: Serena Williams (10), Margaret Court (3), Martina Navratilova (3), Chris Evert (2), Billie Jean King (2), Ann Jones (1), Angelique Kerber (1), Li Na (1), Flavia Pennetta (1) and Virginia Wade (1).
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