Petra Kvitova was the main attraction for many tennis fans during the first day of this year’s Roland Garros. She was playing the most successful player from Montenegro- Danka Kovinic. The two players would meet on opposite sides of the court for the second time this year, with the two-time Wimbledon Champion surviving 7-6 in the 3rd set in Indian Wells earlier this year. Many believe that it was a match that Kovinic should have won, but it was a match that got away from her. Today would be no different as Kvitova yet again found a way to win even without displaying her greatest tennis for the entirety.
The Czech started off the match a bit edgy, saving multiple break points in her first service game. It lasted eight minutes, but she eventually salvaged the hold. She dominated proceedings in the first set to win it 6-2, but like many Kvitova matches in recent history she went off the boil to a certain extent. All the heavy-handed uppercuts she was delivering in the first set were beginning to fly into the net and out long.
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Kovinic’s level increased and she was arguably playing well enough to win the match. Many would argue she was in fact playing better than Kvitova in the third set- the most tightly contested set of the match. The Montenegrin would have the opportunity to serve for the match at *5-4. The Czech hit 10 double faults in the whole match, which Kovinic profited from as most of the double faults were either in bunches or in pivotal moments including the 4-4 game in the third set where she made three in one game. However, Kovinic could not deliver the killer blow and would eventually lose with a backhand into the net. Kvitova escaped here, but she hung around long enough to steal the victory in a long duel that lasted over two hours.
Nick Kyrgios also featured in a very entertaining match in which he beat Marco Cecchinato in straight sets. One of the main talking points of the first day was the young Australian yelling at a ball kid that resulted in Kyrgios receiving a warning for un-sportsman like conduct. Aside from that, Kyrgios played a fantastic match and pulled out great backhands in the big moments that changed the complexion of the match.
Benoit Paire took part in an arduous match with Radu Albot that lasted five sets. Paire’s a talented tennis player that often doesn’t play to his full potential and has had experiences in the past where even his home crowd have booed and whistled at him because of his on-court behaviour. Paire will be in the draw for the second round as he rallied back from a break down in the deciding set to win.
The Parisian rain unfortunately affected a great portion of the first day’s play, so only a handful of matches got completed. Tomorrow’s schedule includes the defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka and former Roland Garros finalist Simona Halep.
Main image (Getty)-