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French Open Day 2 Women’s Recap: Three Upsets On Second Day

Iga Swiatek is a three-time French Open champion.

Some of the biggest players in the women’s game took to the court for the first time at this year’s French Open on Day 2. Three-time champion Iga Swiatek and world No. 3 Coco Gauff were among the players to get their campaigns underway. It proved to be a dramatic day of tennis, including three notable upsets. This article overviews who played well, which players struggled and then names the match that was the best of all those played. We at LWOT also have a recap of the men’s Day 2 matches in a separate article.

French Open Day 2 Women’s Recap

Who Looked Good

Iga Swiatek made the dominant start to her French Open title defense that many expected. She eased to a 6-1 6-2 victory against Leolia Jeanjean. The world No. 1 took all six break point chances she had in a ruthless display. Losing her serve once at the start of the second set was the only loose game she played.

Coco Gauff managed to win even more decisively in her opening match in Paris. The US Open champion raced to a 6-1 6-1 triumph in her contest with Julia Avdeeva. Gauff did not face a single break point throughout the match. That will be particularly encouraging for the American, since serving has been her biggest issue so far this year.

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Ons Jabeur also got a solid victory on Day 2 at the French Open. The three-time Grand Slam runner-up triumphed against the gritty and determined Sachia Vickery 6-3 6-2. Jabeur was dominant from start to finish, comfortably prevailing despite only taking four of the 14 break point opportunities that she created.

Danielle Collins won for the 23rd time in her last 26 matches against Caroline Dolehide. Although the Miami Open winner progressed 6-3 6-4, both sets were competitive and Dolehide made her higher-ranked opponent work hard. Coming through this test could help Collins build some momentum, as she looks to make a deep run at the second Grand Slam of the year.

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova was another player to make a positive start. She progressed to the French Open second round by beating Rebeka Masarova 6-1 6-3. The Czech has not been widely tipped as among the favourites for the title, but she is capable of going far if her game continues to click.

Who Looked Bad

Maria Sakkari suffered another very disappointing early exit from a Grand Slam. The 2021 French Open semifinalist’s first couple of months with new coach David Witt had been positive. Unfortunately, familiar frailties appeared again in her 6-3 4-6 3-6 loss to home favourite Varvara Gracheva. The Frenchwoman deserves a lot of credit for her performance, which included coming up with some big shots in the deciding set. But Sakkari made too many unforced errors in big moments.

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Last year’s semifinalist Beatriz Haddad Maia’s defeat to Elisabetta Cocciaretto was the second upset at the French Open, with the Brazilian succumbing to a 6-3 4-6 1-6 defeat. Haddad Maia fought as hard as always, but her level fell gradually after the first set.  Cocciaretto also deserves considerable praise. She became utterly inspired in the final set.

Ekaterina Alexandrova was also the victim of an upset. The 17th seed fell to the world No. 75 Viktoriya Tomova 3-6 6-7. Alexandrova’s usually formidable serve did not fire as expected, being broken four times throughout the match. She also paid the price for hitting 47 unforced errors.

Match Of The Day

Three-time Grand Slam semifinalist Elina Svitolina and former Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova had a battle of the heavyweights on Court Suzanne Lenglen. Pliskova imposed herself very strongly in the opening set. The Czech won 11 out of 18 points on Svitolina’s service games on her way to taking the first set 6-3. At that point, a comeback seemed unlikely, with Pliskova hitting the ball powerfully to  consistently push the Ukrainian behind the baseline.

However, Svitolina has not built a reputation as one of the biggest fighters in the sport for no reason. She struck ten winners in the second set, breaking Pliskova to love in the final game to level the match. It seemed like the contest was set for a grandstand finish at 2-2 in the third set. But Svitolina then upped her intensity even further. Pliskova could not handle it and Svitolina won the final four games to prevail 3-6 6-4 6-2 at the French Open.

Main Photo Credit: Taya Gray/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

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