French Open Day 2 Women’s Recap:  Wozniacki Falls, Kvitova Withdraws, Serena Survives a First Set Scare

Serena Williams French Open Day 2

Caroline Wozniacki’s troubled 2019 continues as the Dane crashed out of her opening round. Petra Kvitová withdrew, still feeling the effects of a left forearm injury which prevented her from a bid in Rome. After slightly more than two hours, Bianca Andreescu holds on in the 10th game of the second set to level the match. The Canadian teen phenom and Czech Marie Bouzkova will resume play tomorrow.

French Open Day 2 Recap

Most of the seeded players are through to Round 2

Serena Williams returned to action following an injury hiatus. All but annihilated in the first set, Williams stormed back to take the second and third sets dropping but a single game. It took some time for the American superstar to shake off the rust. To be clear, the Williams victory was clearly aided by Diatchenko’s nerves. After a commanding first set win, the Russian flubbed her first game of the second set – sending one serve mere feet from her own baseline. With this match under her belt, Serena looks like she’s ready for a deep run in Pairs. And it looks like the Williams knee is holding up just fine, at least for now. Yet, a withdrawal is always a possibility for the injury-plagued Williams.

Carla Suarez Navarro (#28) was able to squeak out a win. After Dayana Yastremska took the first set 6-2, it looked like trouble for the Spaniard. But by the third set, veteran Suarez Navarro was at her gritty best, handing Yastremska a bagel. It’s the Spaniard’s ability to keep putting balls back in play that wears down opponents and seals her victory.

The curse has been lifted. British #1 Johanna Konta (#26) finally made it through a first0round match in Paris. Her clay court form has been remarkable, and you can expect to see Konta’s vastly improved clay court form propel her into the second week of this prestigious tournament.
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Elise Mertens (#20) came through a tough three setter. Anastasija Sevastova (#12) had a straightforward win against Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum, while Ashleigh Barty (#8) made quick work of American Jessica Pegula. Kiki Bertens (#4) continues her hot streak, taking out Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier 6-3 6-4, and Donna Vekic (#23) easily defeated Lucky Loser Ludmilla Samsonova.

A couple of the seeds are out

The struggles continue for Caroline Wozniacki, who’s been bounced out of the French Open courtesy of Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova. Julia Gorges failed in her opening attempt as well. I’m sure the German didn’t believe her meager 46% first serve would work against a player of Kaia Kanepi’s caliber.

For the Win

Sorana Cirstea (def Kaja Juvan, 5-7 6-4 7-5) certainly benefitted from Petra Kvitova’s withdrawal. The Czech superstar withdrew with a lingering left forearm injury. Enter Lucky Loser Kaja Juvan in her stead. While Romania’s Sorana Cirstea walked away the winner, certainly Kaja Juvan helped with that win. As you’d expect from an eager young player seeing the finish line, Juvan launched long and wide some of the most makable shots. It was precisely those gifts from the Slovenian’s 18-year-old that contributed to Cirstea’s win. However, he Romanian will need to fix that troublesome serve if she hopes to continue her French Open campaign.

Danielle Collins (def Tatjana Maria, 6-0 6-2) made quick work of the crafty Tatjana Maria. Yielding only two games in her straight sets win, Collins demonstrated exceptional shot selection. She always been able to hit nearly anyone off the court with her natural power. Now, the American is demonstrating the strategic game plan needed to catapult her to tennis’ upper echelons.
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Rebecca Peterson (def Yulia Putintseva, 6-3 7-5) turned in a stellar performance to take out Yulia Putintseva in straight sets. The 23-year-old Swede’s return of serve was today’s weapon of choice. Peterson broke the Putintseva serve on four occasions. While the Russian was able to reclaim two breaks, it was Peterson’s strong return game which exited Putintseva in her opening round. I’m not sure how far the Swede can go. In my mind, today’s win falls in the “upset” category.

Andrea Petkovic (def Alison Riske 2-6 6-3 7-5) had the worm dance on full display in celebration of her victory over American Alison Riske. It took the first set for the German to pick up her first serve percentage and hone in on the Riske serve.

Going Home

Caroline Wozniacki (lost 0-6 6-3 6-3 to Veronika Kudermetova) started her French Open campaign with a perfect set. Looking strong and exact, the young Russian quickly turned the tables. Claiming the second and third sets, Kudermetova won her first Grand Slam match. The Russian launched 40 winners to Wozniacki’s mere 15. It’s been a difficult year for the Dane, who brought in a 9-8 record. Hampered by illness and injury, there seems to be no end to the former World #1’s struggles.

Petra Kvitova announced her withdrawal from the French Open this morning. Citing an injured left forearm, the two-time Wimbledon champion hopes to be ready on July 1. It seems the WTA Tour players have had more than their fair share of injuries. Here’s hoping we see Kvitova in England.

Dayana Yastremska (lost 6-2 6-7 0-6 to Carla Suarez Navarro) fell to the #26 seed, Carla Suarez Navarro. After a commanding first set win, the Ukranian teenager saw Suarez Navarro grind out a 7-0 tiebreak to claim the second set. After that, it was one-way traffic in favor of the Spaniard. That’s precisely what Suarez Navarro is known for–her ability to grind down opponents. Yastremska is one of the talented teens destined for future Top 10 status, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the 19-year-old can do on the grass. I’m also looking forward to seeing how far Suarez Navarro will go after overcoming her first round challenge.

Barbora Strycova (lost 2-6 6-7 to Samantha Stosur) couldn’t chalk up a win despite Sam Stosur’s seven double faults and 64% first serve. Perhaps it was the Czech’s serve which the Aussie punished? Chances are Stosur and Strycova will meet on the doubles court, where both of their teams are seeded.

The American women continue to fall in Paris. Vavara Lepchenko had no answer for Zhang Shuai, and lost 1-6 1-6 in her opener. Jessie Pegula fared better than Lepchenko, but just barely. As expected, she lost in straight sets to Aussie Ashleigh Barty. Alison Riske lost a tough three set battle to German Andrea Petkovic.

A Look at Day 3

The remaining seeded players begin their campaign on Tuesday. Oddsmakers’ favorite Simona Halep will meet Ajla Tomljanovic on Philippe-Chatrier. Other seeds hoping to move onto Round 2 include #1 seed and World #1 Naomi Osaka, Aryna Sabalenka (#11), Madison Keys (#14), Wang Qiang (#16), Anett Kontaveit (#17), Daria Kasatkina (#21), Caroline Garcia (#24), Lesia Tsurenko (#27), and Maria Sakkari (#29).

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