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10 Things to Know, Day 3: Djokovic 59-2 in first round of Grand Slams
The world No. 1's only two first-round losses at majors came at his most beloved major.
Published Sep 29, 2020
Trivia: Which player who’s playing on one of the three main show courts on Tuesday lists in his ATP bio that his “dream tennis band is John McEnroe on lead guitar, Marat Safin on drums, Bjorn Borg on the keyboard and himself on rhythm guitar and vocals”?
The first round wraps up on Tuesday. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic begins his quest for an 18th major - and second Roland Garros title - as the last wave of first-round matches takes place at Roland Garros.
Djokovic is 59-2 in first-round matches at majors. And his only losses came at his best major, the Australian Open, falling to Safin in the first round in 2005 and to Paul Goldstein in the first round in 2006.
Djokovic’s opponent has never beaten a Top 30 player. Mikael Ymer is 0-8 against players ranked in the Top 30, his best career win coming against a No. 39-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at a Challenger last year.
Seven US men are already through to the second round this year (John Isner, Taylor Fritz, Tennys Sandgren, Tommy Paul, Mackenzie McDonald, Jack Sock and Sebastian Korda). It’s the most since nine US men reached the second round here in 1996 (Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Michael Chang, Todd Martin, Chris Woodruff, David Wheaton, Richey Reneberg and Jeff Tarango).
Three more American men play their first-round matches on Tuesday: Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson and Marcos Giron.
Sofia Kenin and her opponent today were born three days apart in Russia. Liudmila Samsonova was born on November 11, 1998, while Kenin was born on November 14, 1998. While Kenin was born in Moscow, Samsonova was born in Olenegorsk, which is in the Arctic Circle, close to the Finnish border.
Kenin’s looking to rebound from a 6-0 6-0 loss in Rome. The 2020 Australian Open champion was double-bageled for the first time at any level, by Victoria Azarenka, in her only lead-up match on clay.
Andrey Rublev’s playing Roland Garros for the first time in three years. The 2014 junior champion here, Rublev had to pull out in 2018 due to a back injury and in 2019 due to a wrist injury. In his only previous appearance in 2017, he fell first round to Diego Schwartzman. He plays Querrey today.
Jennifer Brady’s playing her first match since her run to the US Open semis. The American is, stats-wise, the best server on the women’s tour this year coming into Roland Garros, leading everyone in service games won (79.9%) and service points won (62.6%), as well as second serve points won (53.9%).
Just by taking the court today, Karolina Pliskova’s opponent is making history for Egypt. No. 172-ranked qualifier Mayar Sherif is the first Egyptian woman to appear in the main draw of a Grand Slam.
MOM WATCH: All four moms in the draw are through to the second round. Serena Williams, Azarenka, Patricia Maria Tig and Tsvetana Pironkova all won their first rounds over the last two days. A maximum of three of them can keep winning, though, as Serena and Pironkova play next in a rematch of their US Open quarterfinal.
Yesterday’s Trivia: The only player to beat Serena in the first round of a major was Virginie Razzano, who beat her in the first round of the 2012 French Open.