PARIS—At 9:25 this morning, on Court Three at Roland Garros, 25th-seeded Anett Kontaveit tranquilly hit one practice serve after another to her coach, Glenn Schaap. As the left-handed Schaap rolled back returns, Kontaveit calmly laced groundstrokes into corners.
Just over two hours later, on the same court, all appeared on course for the promising Estonian as Kontaveit won the first set 6-1 over Madison Brengle, an American ranked No. 101 in the world.
For all the possibilities that attend the opening matchup at a major, on this Sunday morning it also smacked of a friendly weekend squabble seen at clubs and parks everywhere, pitting the young, ascending and powerful 22-year-old Kontaveit versus the seasoned and crafty 28-year-old Brengle.
And then, as can happen in these matchups regardless of playing level, morning became electric—or, more accurately, eccentric.
Kontaveit is a player to watch. At the Australian Open, she reached the round of 16, a run highlighted by a third round win over Roland Garros holder Jelena Ostapenko. Her clay season has been outstanding—reaching the semis at Madrid and Rome, efforts that include wins over Venus Williams (twice), Caroline Wozniacki, ’09 Roland Garros champ Svetlana Kuznetsova and CoCo Vandeweghe.
WATCH—Match point from Kontaveit's win over Brengle at the French Open: