Trivia: How many majors do the players on the three main show courts have combined?
The second round kicks off—and two megastars continue their chase for history. Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are now six wins away from tying the men’s and women’s all-time Grand Slam title records.
Serena’s 72-2 in her career in second-round matches at majors. The only two losses came to Venus Williams at the 1998 Australian Open (Serena’s first major) and to Garbine Muguruza at the 2014 French Open.
Serena played Tsvetana Pironkova 21 days ago—and hit 20 aces to 1 double fault. The match was a battle, with Serena rallying from a set and a break down at 6-4, 1-0 to prevail in the quarterfinals of the US Open, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. But Serena’s serve was on fire, her 20 aces being the most she’s served in a match in over eight years (since she served 24 against Victoria Azarenka in the 2012 Wimbledon semifinals).
Nadal’s trying to extend his Roland Garros winning streak to 25 matches in a row. His 24 in a row right now includes 2-0 in 2016 (before withdrawing prior to his third round with a wrist injury), 7-0 to win the title in 2017, 7-0 to win the title in 2018, 7-0 to win the title in 2019 and 1-0 so far in 2020.
Nadal’s opponent today, Mackenzie McDonald, broke a 2020 Grand Slam curse by winning his first-round match here. Not only did he lose from two sets up in the first round of both the Australian Open and US Open this year, it was to the No. 30 seed both times—Evans in Melbourne, Ruud in New York.
In Paris, he rallied from 6-4, 2-0 down to beat Canadian qualifier Diez first round, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.
Simona Halep’s never lost to another Romanian at tour-level. She’s 12-0 against her countrywomen at tour-level, which includes 5-0 against Irina-Camelia Begu, her opponent today (she’s 7-0 against Begu at all levels).
Upset Alert? Kiki Bertens is 0-5 against Sara Errani. Bertens retired in two of those matches and Errani isn’t at the level she once was, but the Italian has also had some of her best moments here—she wasn’t just a finalist in 2012, she got to the semis again in 2013 and the quarters in 2014 and 2015.
While the United States has the most men into the second round at Roland Garros since 1996, with eight, Italy has the most men into the second round here in the Open Era, with six. Those six Italian men are World No. 8 Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner, Marco Cecchinato, Lorenzo Sonego, Stefano Travaglia and Lorenzo Giustino.
Amanda Anisimova is the only 2019 women’s semifinalist into the second round in 2020. Ashleigh Barty didn’t make the trip, while Johanna Konta and Marketa Vondrousova lost first round this year. Anisimova plays Bernarda Pera today.
Roger Federer scored his first tour-level win on this day 22 years ago. On September 30, 1998, a 17-year-old Federer beat Guillaume Raoux in the first round of Toulouse for the first of his now 1,242 wins.
Yesterday’s Trivia: The player who has 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” is Vasek Pospisil.