The German tennis star Alexander Zverev has another chance to win his first Grand Slam title. At the French Open he is challenged on the first day. All information in the news blog.
The French Open for tennis professionals in Paris begins on Sunday under strict hygiene and safety requirements. Unlike the previous US Open in New York, spectators are admitted to the Grand Slam tournament in the French capital. 1000 visitors are allowed to visit the facility per day.
US Open finalist Alexander Zverev will be in action on the first day of the tournament. The 23-year-old will face Dennis Novak from Austria in the fourth and last match of the day. For the number six seed from Hamburg, it is the first appearance since his five-set defeat in the final of the US Open against Austrian Dominic Thiem two weeks ago. You can watch the highlights of the thrilling finals again here.
++ All information about the French Open in the news blog ++
++ Day 2 in Paris ++
Rafael Nadal with an easy win in round one
Defending champion Rafael Nadal started this year’s French Open with an effortless three-set win. The Spaniard won 6: 4, 6: 4, 6: 2 against Egor Gerasimov from Belarus in Paris on Monday. In cold, wet weather, the 34-year-old Mallorcan was not yet in top form, but was never in serious danger. Nadal has won the clay court spectacle in the Stade Roland Garros twelve times. He now meets the American Mackenzie McDonald.
Struff as the third German in the second round
The German number two Jan-Lennard Struff has reached the second round as the third German professional at the French Open. The 30-year-old from Warstein prevailed on Monday against the American Frances Tiafoe with 3: 6, 7: 6 (7: 5), 6: 3, 6: 7 (2: 7), 6: 3. Struff had recently suffered first round defeats in Rome and Hamburg.
Struff, seeded at number 30 in the Grand Slam tournament, made 15 slight mistakes in the first set. Too much to keep the world number 67 in check. In the second set, Struff bit his way into the game and got through his powerful game better and better.
Thiem and Williams sovereign in round two
US Open Siger Dominic Thiem solved his tricky first round task against Marin Cilic in a focused manner. The 27-year-old Austrian beat the Croatian US Open winner from 2014 6: 4, 6: 3, 6: 3 in Paris. In the past two years, Thiem reached the final of the French Open and lost to Nadal.
In the women’s category, Serena Williams started highly concentrated and defeated Kristie Ahn 7: 6 (7: 2), 6: 0 in a duel between two Americans. The 39-year-old Williams makes the next attempt in Paris to win her 24th Grand Slam title and catch up with record holder Margaret Court (Australia).
Out for Petkovic in round 1
Andrea Petkovic suffered a defeat on her comeback on the big tennis stage. Almost a year after her last tour match, the 33-year-old lost her first round duel at the French Open against Bulgarian Zwetana Pironkowa 3: 6, 3: 6.
Petkovic, who was slowed down by a knee injury before the Corona break, got off to a restless start, with a score of 0: 3 after less than ten minutes, her bat flew. Then she fought her way into the match a little better, but made too many easy mistakes overall.
As the game progressed, Petkovic repeatedly grabbed her left knee, but continued to fight despite obvious problems. In the end, Pironkowa made fewer mistakes and thus prevailed.
Originally, Petkovic had planned to end her career at the end of this year, but now she is still on for a year after the long Corona break. Before her first round match, the professional player, who also works as a sports presenter for ZDF, said that she had never had as much fun playing tennis as she does now.
Kvitova wins the first match of the day – German professionals are waiting
The two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova won the first match of the day of the French Open on a rainy morning in Paris. The 30-year-old Czech Republic beat the French outsider Oceane Dodin 6: 3, 7: 5 and made it into the second round.
The match was played on the Philippe Chatrier Court, which has had a movable roof since this year. On the other hand, it was not possible to play on the outside courts because of rain.
++ Day 1 in Paris ++
Azarenka complains about the cold: “ridiculous”
The unpleasant, sometimes borderline conditions at the last Grand Slam tournament of the year, which Angelique Kerber and four other German professionals also have to deal with on Monday, lead to discussions in Paris. “The most important thing is that you accept the conditions and deal with them,” said the German Dominik Koepfer bravely.
Anna-Lena Friedsam struggled a lot more after her 2: 6, 6: 2, 3: 6 defeat against Alexandra Sasnowitsch: “I can hardly remember that it was like that in the course of my career.” Boris Becker told Eurosport that the tournament in Paris was a “sporting culture shock” after the US Open.
Many players proceeded according to the onion principle, Zverev put on a long sleeve shirt. The two-time Grand Slam winner Wiktoria Asarenka took it to the extreme. She successfully competed in her opening match with leggings and a training jacket and then expressed concern that the unfamiliar circumstances could lead to a greater risk of injury.
“I think so. If you play at eight degrees, it’s pretty tough,” said the 31-year-old, who complained during a brief rain break for not wanting to sit on the pitch like a “duck”. “I live in Florida, this is a bit ridiculous,” she said to the supervisor. Top favorite Simona Halep (Romania), who also showed no nakedness, said despite the new roof over the chatrier that it was unusually fresh for her.
Zverev confidently moves into round two
The German number one Alexander Zverev easily reached the second round of the French Open. The 23-year-old from Hamburg beat the Austrian Dennis Novak convincingly 7: 5, 6: 2, 6: 4 on Sunday evening. Zverev’s next opponent is the American Micheal Mmoh or local hero Pierre-Hugues Herbert from France.
Alexander Zverev: The US Open finalist moved into the second round of the French Open without any problems. (Source: Panoramic / imago images)
Not surprisingly, Zverev got off to a somewhat difficult start. The world number seventh had not played a match on clay in preparation for the tournament in Paris after the lost final at the US Open and now had to accept a break from Novak early on. But Zverev found his rhythm in the first sentence and quickly added a break in the second round. He now played extremely consistently and with a precision that Novak could not keep up with.
Dominik Koepfer continues as the first German
Dominik Koepfer was the first German tennis player to reach the second round at the French Open in Paris. The Davis Cup professional won against Frenchman Antoine Hoang 6: 2, 3: 6, 6: 1, 6: 1 on Sunday, building on his last strong performances on clay. Koepfer used his first match ball after 2:04 hours. In the second round, the 26-year-old now faces the winner of the duel between Swiss Stan Wawrinka and British Andy Murray.
Peaceful fails in round 1
Anna-Lena Friedsam was the first German player to be eliminated from the French Open. The 26-year-old from Neuwied lost her opening match against Alexandra Sasnowitsch (Belarus) from Belarus 2: 6, 6: 2, 3: 6. At the tournament in Paris there are ten German professionals in the race.
In the end, there was no consistency in their game. She initially had bigger problems with her opponent, but hit back after the break in the set. She now served more safely, took the serve twice from Sasnowitsch and came to equalize the set after 64 minutes.
In the decisive round it went back and forth. Friedsam fought, but always had problems with the many stop balls from Sasnowitsch.
Top favorite Halep without any effort
Simona Halep is in the second round of the French Open. After initial difficulties, the Romanian tennis player prevailed on Sunday on her 29th birthday against Sara Sorribes Tormo from Spain 6: 4, 6: 0. Halep, who won her first Grand Slam title in Paris in 2018, only needed 1:22 hours for her success. The number two in the world had only won the Masters 1000 event in Rome on Monday. Before that, she had decided not to take part in the US Open.
Azarenka reaches round 2
Co-favorite Victoria Asarenka has reached the second round at the French Open. The 31-year-old tennis player from Belarus beat Danka Kovinic from Montenegro on Sunday 6: 1, 6: 2. The US Open finalist defied the difficult external conditions in the French capital. In cold, wet weather with temperatures just over ten degrees and drizzle, the challenges for the players were great, especially on the outdoor courts.
Victoria Azarenka: The Belarusian is in the second round of Paris. (Source: Reuters)
The game between Asarenka and Kovinic on the Suzanne Lenglen court was interrupted after just a few minutes when Asarenka was 2-1. Azarenka in particular complained about the conditions. After a break of around half an hour, the former number one in the world came to terms with the circumstances better and easily reached the next round. “I’m glad that I’m through. Now I can see how the others are coping with these tough conditions,” said Asarenka.
Zverev and Kerber with feasible opening hurdles
Alexander Zverev is in action on the first day of the tournament. The 23-year-old will face Dennis Novak from Austria in the fourth and last match of the day (start of the games 11.00 a.m. / Eurosport).
Dominik Koepfer (Donaueschingen) and Anna-Lena Friedsam (Andernach) also play from the ten German professionals (five women, five men) in the main field. Koepfer, who recently only just lost to world number one Novak Djokovic from Serbia in the quarter-finals in Rome, will play against Frenchman Antoine Hoang. It is peaceful with Alexandra Sasnowitsch from Belarus.