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French Open Day 1 Men’s Recap: Three Seeded Players Knocked Out

Stan Wawrinka French Open

It was a dramatic first day of the men’s singles at the French Open. Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz, Andrey Rublev and former champion at Roland-Garros Stan Wawrinka were among the players in action. There were also some notable upsets on Day 1. This article recaps who looked good, bad and which match was the best.

French Open Day 1 Men’s Recap

Carlos Alcaraz made the perfect start to his French Open campaign. He demolished JJ Wolf 6-1 6-2 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier. In truth, Wolf never fully settled into the match and made too many mistakes to truly compete with the Spaniard. Nonetheless, the two-time Grand Slam champion still deserves credit for how he played from start to finish.

Stan Wawrinka won his blockbuster matchup against Andy Murray. The first two sets were competitive, before the Swiss legend ran away with the final set to prevail 6-4 6-4 6-2. Even in the opening two sets, Wawrinka was mostly in control of the contest. Murray ran out of steam in the third set and waved to the crowd at the end, seeming to confirm that this was his final match at the French Open.

Grigor Dimitrov was another comfortable winner on Day 1 in Paris. He triumphed in the battle of the one-handed backhands with Aleksandar Kovacevic 6-4 6-3 6-4. The American applied himself well and has a bright future ahead of him if he regularly produces some of the tennis he played. Dimitrov’s serve and forehand just proved to be too strong in the end.

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Andrey Rublev needed four sets to overcome the gritty and determined Taro Daniel 6-2 6-7 6-3 7-5. The former quarterfinalist at the French Open was not perfect throughout the match but he showed enough of his trademark power to win. Daniel deserves credit for his performance, which saw him extract errors from Rublev with his defensive skills.

French stalwart Richard Gasquet rolled back the years to defeat Borna Coric 7-6 7-6 6-4. In one of the best atmospheres seen on Court Suzanne-Lenglen in recent years, Gasquet, who turns 38 next month, produced some incredible shots to claim three tight sets. There were touching scenes at the end of the match, with Gasquet close to tears as the crowd sang his name.

Who Looked Bad

Ugo Humbert suffered another disappointing day at the French Open. He has still only managed one win at his home Grand Slam, losing to Lorenzo Sonego on this occasion 4-6 6-2 2-6 3-6. The Italian did play very well, but Humbert did not rise to the occasion on the big points in particular.

Italian open runner-up Nicolas Jarry’s loss was the biggest upset of the day. Unlike Humbert, Corentin Moutet was inspired in front of his home fans to win 6-2 6-1 3-6 6-0. The Chilean’s powerful serve badly faltered in each of the sets that he lost. That gave Moutet the chance to dominate in the rallies, which he did impressively.

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Alejandro Tabilo was the third men’s seed to exit on Day 1 of the French Open. The Italian Open semifinalist fell 6-3 6-7 2-6 2-6 to Zizou Bergs. The first two sets were very competitive and it seemed like the match was set up for a dramatic ending. Instead, Tabilo’s level suddenly dropped and he surrendered the final two sets very tamely.

Match Of The Day

Kei Nishikori made a memorable return to Grand Slam tennis for the first time in nearly three years on Court 6. The former US Open runner-up was 5-2 and set point down in the opening set, before making an improbable comeback to take it 7-5. Diallo then suffered the same frustration in the following set. He was unable to take a set point once again, before losing the set once again, this time on a tiebreak.

It seemed like Nishikori had run out of steam in the following two sets. Diallo won them 6-3 and 6-1, with the Japanese star receiving some treatment before the fifth set began. Nishikori falling short at this stage would have been completely understandable after so long away from the sport. However, he does not have an incredible record in fifth sets for no reason. He left the crowd in raptures as he took the final set 7-5 to claim an amazing 7-5 7-6 3-6 1-6 7-6 victory and improve that fifth set record to 28 wins and seven losses.

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


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