Passport to RG, Day 2—Nadal, Serena, Thiem move on; Giustino's big win

Passport to RG, Day 2—Nadal, Serena, Thiem move on; Giustino's big win

Also Monday, former champion Garbine Muguruza prevailed 8-6 in a decisive set to avoid losing in the first round of Roland Garros for the first time.

From first ball to last, keep up to date with the latest from Roland Garros every day on TENNIS.com. We'll have match updates, photos, video highlights and more in our daily notebook: Passport to RG. 


Midnight in Paris wraps us up 

Thanks to the addition of lights on the grounds, Roland Garros had its first match in history extend beyond midnight. France's Clara Burel overcame Arantxa Rus, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (2), 6-3, on Court 7 at 12:10 a.m to join the growing list of players securing their first major main draw wins at this year's tournament.

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Fucsovics continues Medvedev's Paris nightmare 

Taking it to the world No. 5, Marton Fucsovics snapped a 0-14 streak against Top-10 opposition by blasting his way through Daniil Medvedev, 6-4, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-1, on Court-Suzanne Lenglen. With the defeat, Medvedev fell to 0-4 at Roland Garros, and is the 10th seeded man to lose in the opening round with a day of first-round action still to come. For Fucsovics, he'll meet Albert Ramos-Vinolas for a chance to get into the third round for the first time.

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Sandgren saves two match points to topple Hurkacz

Down 7-8, 15-40, in the fifth set, Tennys Sandgren played to win in denying Hubert Hurkacz, then went on to complete a 7-5, 2-6, 4-6, 7-6 (1), 11-9 comeback over the No. 29 seed in four hours and 31 minutes. With the win, Sandgren became the seventh American man to win their opening-round match. His second-round opponent, Daniel Elahi Galan, also won in five.

The lucky loser ran away with his fourth and fifth sets to rally past Cam Norrie, 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1, for his first major main draw win after three hours and 42 minutes of hard work.

Watch Sandgren's match point saves:


Fernandez rallies in impressive style; multiple matches still going

Fast-rising 17-year-old Leylah Fernandez, who claimed the girls' singles title in Paris last June, took down No. 31 seed Magda Linette after wiping away a disappointing first set. The left-handed Canadian turned the tide to win her main draw debut, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3, immediately putting aside her disappointment of not initially closing the door at 5-2, 40-15, in the third.

Hubert Hurkacz leads Tennys Sandgren, 10-9, on serve in the fifth set of a battle well past the four-hour mark. Three other matches are also on court as the clock approaches 11 p.m. local time.


Medvedev goes down two sets after code violation

Fourth seed Daniil Medvedev has never won a match at Roland Garros, losing in the first round from 2017-19. That trend looks to continue unless the 2019 US Open finalist can find some magic quickly against Marton Fucsovics.

After losing a key point in a second set tiebreaker, one that he was dictating on the baseline with his forehand, the Russian torqued his racquet back and slammed it down. Having already been warned, it resulted in a point penalty, ending the second set. Fuscovic leads, 6-4, 7-6 (3).


Shot of the day goes to...

Serena Williams ends a 22-shot rally full of angles with a forehand curler to get the better of Kristie Ahn. 


Kerber's RG struggles persist

Angelique Kerber needs a Roland Garros crown to complete a career Grand Slam. Unfortunately for the German, the crown jewel of clay has not been a place where achieving that seems realistic.

For the fourth time in five years, Kerber has been bounced in the opening round. Kaja Juvan knocked out the former No. 1, 6-3, 6-3, in just 67 minutes, dropping Kerber's career mark in Paris to 17-13. Juvan has now posted main draw wins in three of her past four major appearances.

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Nadal in virtual press

On whether this event is important for inspiring the rest of the world:

"I will not say it's important, because in the world today there is things much more important than a tennis tournament, no? Honestly that's my personal feeling. That's our job, and the only thing we can say is thanks to the ATP tour, to Roland Garros, to the US Open, to everyone who make big efforts to come back to the tennis tour. Because situation worldwide is unpredictable, so difficult. Economically the tournaments are suffering a lot, so it's bit risky to organize an event during these difficult moments. So the only thing that I can guarantee is [I'm] gonna be here, try my best every single day fighting, and trying to give to the people my best every single day, because in some way sport helps the people, no?"


Bublik eliminates Monfils

For the first time since 2005, Gael Monfils suffered a first-round exit at the Paris major, as Alexander Bublik posted a 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 victory for his first Top 10 win in six attempts (was also 0-3 this season). Bublik gets Lorenzo Sonego next and with Monfils out, No. 27 seed Taylor Fritz is the highest-ranked player left in this 1/16 section of the draw.

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At 29, Giustino wins first tour-level match in marathon

Coming into Roland Garros, 29-year-old Lorenzo Giustino had played just four tour-level matches in his career. He lost all of them, going 0-9 in sets won.

In a match carried over from Sunday, the 152nd-ranked qualifier outlasted home hopeful Corentin Moutet in six hours and five minutes, prevailing, 0-6, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (3), 2-6, 18-16, to win the match of his pro career. Moutet had the match on his racquet three times in the decider, though was unable to bring up a match point when serving at 7-6, 14-13, or 15-14. 

Giustino will need to find a way to recover, as No. 9 seed Diego Schwartzman, the recent Rome finalist, awaits the Italian.


Nadal sails through opener

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal began his bid for a record-extending 13th event title with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Egor Gerasimov. Nadal was efficient with his chances, converting all five of his break points. A trophy at the end of the fortnight would bring Nadal even with Roger Federer for the most men’s majors of 20. For a spot in the third round, the Spaniard will face Mackenzie McDonald. The American beat qualifier Steven Diaz, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

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Former titlist Muguruza survives tight contest

Trailing 0-3 in the final set, 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza fights back to edge Tamara Zidansek, 7-5, 4-6, 8-6, in a grueling battle that tipped just over three hours. Muguruza avoided losing in the first round of Roland Garros for the first time in eight main draw appearances.

Madison Keys, a 2018 semifinalist, was not as fortunate. Seeded 12th, the American was beaten by Zhang Shuai, 6-3, 7-6 (2). Zhang will aim to equal her 2017 third-round showing against the winner of an all-French showdown between Alize Cornet and Chloe Paquet.

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If La Monf is to stay alive, he'll have to win in five

Eighth seed Gael Monfils had leads of 3-0 in the first set and 5-3 in the second set against Alexander Bublik. Instead, the former semifinalist couldn't maintain either advantage, and finds himself down two sets to the Kazakh, who arrived with a quarterfinal showing in Hamburg.


Nadal wins first set

A mid-set break was all 12-time champion Rafael Nadal to get his opening match going in his favor. The world No. 2 protected his serve well in sealing the first set, 6-4, after 40 minutes, losing just five points. Nadal began the tournament 93-2 at the clay-court major.

Eighth seed Gael Monfils lost his first set, 6-4, to Alexander Bublik, while two-time major winner Garbine Muguruza will need to win in three after dropping her second set, 6-4, to Tamara Zidansek.

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Svitolina stays hot

On the back of winning a WTA event in Strasbourg on Saturday, third seed Elina Svitolina held off Varvara Gracheva, 7-6 (2), 6-4, despite finishing with a -21 winners to unforced errors ratio. After her third-round exit here last year, Svitolina went on to reach her first pair of major semifinals at Wimbledon and the US Open. In her next match, she'll battle Mexico's Renata Zarazua, who posted her first main draw major win after dismissing wild card Elsa Jacquemot, 6-1, 6-2.

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Serena improves to 75-1 in major opening rounds

The two sets Serena Williams played in her Roland Garros opener were the definition of night and day. After a 72-minute opening set, Serena Williams stepped on the gas to deflate Kristie Ahn in the second, needing 29 additional minutes to complete a 7-6 (2), 6-0 victory. With the win, Serena has now won 75 of 76 matches in the opening round of her Grand Slam appearances.

A second-round clash with Tsvetana Pironkova, who pushed Serena to three sets in the US Open quarterfinals, should be an interesting test for the 23-time major champ. Serena is 5-0 in her head-to-head series with the Bulgarian.


Swiatek routs 2019 finalist

Marketa Vondrousova had appeared to capture a bit of the magic that saw her reach last year's Roland Garros final when she advanced to the Rome semifinals a little over a week ago. If that was the case, it wore off quickly as Iga Swiatek brushed aside the No. 12 seed, 6-1, 6-2, hitting 23 winners to just seven from the left-hander. Swiatek appeared in the round of 16 a year ago, falling to Simona Halep.

With Vondrousova's loss and defending champion Ashleigh Barty not making the trip over, we'll have a new set of finalists.

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Serena battles to win tiebreaker; Anisimova dominates

Three-time champion Serena Williams saw her opponent, Kristie Ahn, serve for the first set at 5-4. Instead, Ahn was broken at 15 and Serena would take early command in the tie-break before firing her seventh ace to end the 102-point set, 7-6 (2). At the start of the month, Serena topped her countrywoman, 7-5, 6-3, in the first round of the US Open.

Last year's breakout semifinalist, Amanda Anisimova, stormed into the second round. The 19-year-old dominated Tamara Korpatsch, 6-2, 6-0, and gets fellow American Bernarda Pera next. The 25th-seeded Anisimova could potentially face top seed Simona Halep in a 2019 quarterfinal replay should both reach the third round.

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Gaston claims all-wild card contest

Ranked No. 239, Hugo Gaston notched his first career tour-level win after getting the better of compatriot Maxime Janiver, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-3. The 20-year-old will look to add to his milestone against Yoshihito Nishioka. The Japanese, who lost from match point up against Andy Murray at the US Open, took down 19th-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime, 7-5, 6-3, 6-3, in the Canadian's main draw debut. The winner between Gaston and Nishioka could get a crack at 2015 titlist Stan Wawrinka, if the Swiss gets past the in-form Dominik Koepfer.

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Serena-Ahn underway; McHale upsets Muchova

On her sixth break point, in a 24-point game, Kristie Ahn gets the first strike against Serena Williams, then consolidates for 3-1.

Tommy Paul leads James Duckworth by two sets, while former champion Svetlana Kuzetsova looked primed to force a decider with countrywoman Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Christina McHale erased a break deficit in her second set, winning the last four games to oust No. 22 seed Karolina Muchova, 6-2, 6-4. McHale's best showing at the Paris major came eight years ago, when she progressed to the third round.

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Thiem wins debut as major champion

In his first match since joining the Grand Slam champion club in New York, Dominic Thiem cleared his first Paris hurdle with plenty of margin.

The two-time Roland Garros runner-up fended off Marin Cilic, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, improving to 4-0 lifetime against his fellow US Open winner. Thiem made 69% of his first serves in getting past Cilic in two hours and six minutes. Next for Thiem is qualifier Jack Sock, a 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 victor over Reilly Opelka.

"I love the conditions because, well, I'm from Austria. I know how it is to play in these cold conditions," Thiem said on court afterwards. "Back in juniors, when I started to play Futures, it was always like that. I love it when it's not too fast, so I can be a little bit behind the baseline, make a lot of returns in [the] court."

Serena Williams and Kristie Ahn are set to take Chatrier next, with Rafael Nadal and Egor Gerasimov to follow.

Meanwhile, Kiki Bertens won 12 of the final 14 games to surge past Katarina Zavatska, 2-6, 6-2, 6-0. Yoshihito Nishioka is a set away from ousting No. 19 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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Pironkova tops Petko

Fresh off reaching the US Open quarterfinals in her first tournament since 2017, Tsvetana Pironkova made the most of a wild card granted by the FFT. The Bulgarian defeated former semifinalist Andrea Petkovic, 6-3, 6-3, capitalizing on six of her seven break point chances. Pironkova could get a rematch with the woman who ended her run in New York—Serena Williams, should the three-time champion advance past Kristie Ahn.

Dominic Thiem opened up a two-set lead on Marin Cilic, but lost his opening service game to start the third. Kiki Bertens returned the favor to Katarina Zavatska in clinching the second set, 6-2.

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Thiem takes first set, 6-4

Marin Cilic had it going early, controlling the court positioning and effectively pulling out his forehand drop shot against Dominic Thiem. It wasn't enough to sustain the Croatian, who dropped serve in the ninth game and couldn't capitalize on a 0-40 hole to get back to 5-5. Two-time reigning finalist Thiem only managed three winners, yet took a one-set lead. You have to think he's only going to get better as this match goes on.

Qualifier Jack Sock won his first set, 6-4, over compatriot Reilly Opelka. Kiki Bertens, the fifth seed in the women's draw, dropped her opening set, 6-2, to world No. 112 Katarina Zavatska.

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Play begins on outside courts

We have some activity around the courts, with the likes of Kiki Bertens and Felix Auger-Aliassime underway. Big ups to the grounds crew members for their diligent work.

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US Open champion Dominic Thiem and Marin Cilic each broke serve to begin their clash on Chatrier. The net cam took a direct hit in the opening game, as well. As a reminder, Cilic has never beaten Thiem in three prior meetings, which included a four-set loss at the US Open on September 5.


Petra marches on in straights

Oceane Dodin began opening up the court more with her backhand, and was brilliant in taking it up the line. But Petra Kvitova stood her ground to get past the talented Frenchwoman in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.

After trading breaks to open the second set, both found themselves exchanging an increased amount of intense rallies—to the enjoyment of spectators that included Jannik Sinner. In the 11th game, Kvitova played solid defense, and mixed in a backhand slice to catch Dodin off guard for her third break of the day. She had no problem closing in the ensuing game. The final stat line for the seventh seed: 29 winners, 14 unforced errors.

The tarps have been removed on the outside courts, where sweepers are out in full force to try and get them ready.

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Kvitova takes opening set 6-3

There’s just one match on court right now and it’s delivering on quality.

Petra Kvitova has been absolutely lights out to start under the Chatrier roof, dropping just two points on serve and taking all 15 first-serve points she played. Oceane Dodin didn’t do much wrong, but with the lefty hitting 12 winners to just four unforced errors, the first set was taken out of the Frenchwoman's hands.

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Grand Slam winners represent

Five major champions feature on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Monday. Will the roof be in play once again is a question that will surely come up daily, and it's certainly a factor today with rain in the area. Two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova plays her first match since missing out on four match points in a fourth-round loss to Shelby Rogers at the US Open. Her opponent? France’s Oceane Dodin.

Dominic Thiem then makes his debut as a Grand Slam champion against fellow US Open titlist Marin Cilic. Thiem is 3-0 in their head-to-head series, with all of those victories coming on outdoor hard. The Austrian took out the Croatian at Flushing Meadows, so will Cilic, celebrating his 32nd birthday, have a little extra something to say today?

The same question holds true for Kristie Ahn, who for the second straight major, finds herself across the net from 23-time major champion Serena Williams. Serena is bidding for her first Roland Garros title in five years. Neither player entered a clay-court event coming in, but Serena is a remarkable 74-1 in the first round of major events (lone loss came here eight years ago to Virginie Razzano).

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The King Of Clay closes out proceedings, as Rafael Nadal kicks off his quest to tie Roger Federer’s men’s record of 20 major titles against Egor Gerasimov. The 12-time winner is the favorite to win the title per usual, though comes in with just three matches since the reopening after opting out of the US Open and falling to Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals of Rome.

Other names hoping to take the court if weather cooperates include 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza, G.E.M.S. Elina Svitolina and Gael Monfils, Daniil Medvedev, Kiki Bertens, last year’s runner-up Marketa Vondrousova, Fabio Fognini, Madison Keys and Tsvetana Pironkova.