The second day of the Roland-Garros tournament, Monday, May 31, was not really very favorable to the French. The results are barely brighter than that of the first day, Sunday, when Enzo Couacaud (177e in the ATP ranking) had been the only survivor among the nine French lined up.
Monday, if Caroline Garcia and Harmony Tan have passed the first round, Alizé Cornet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Benoît Paire, Arthur Rinderknech or Arthur Cazaux and Mathias Bourgue have already finished with the Parisian clay.
Benoît Paire lost to the Norwegian Casper Ruud (15e in the ATP ranking), but he fought. After winning the first set 7-5, the enfant terrible of French tennis went through a slump, losing eight games in a row, which cost him the second and third sets.
Courageously, the Avignon native resurfaced. Supported by the public of the court Simonne-Mathieu, powerful in the service and present on the fly, Paire even managed to push his opponent, recent winner of the Geneva tournament. The Frenchman leaves the door of Auteuil with the honors on a defeat in four sets: 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6.
One more loss for the – always – 40e world player who, before arriving at Roland Garros, had lost fourteen times in his last sixteen games.
Rinderknech and Bourgue swept away, a small set for Cazaux
Facing a Marin Cilic (47e world) with no results, Arthur Rinderknech (118e) did not weigh heavily. The Croatian proved to be superior and, though he encountered some opposition in the first set, the rest of the game was one-sided until he won 7-6 (6), 6-1, 6-2 .
Invited to the Paris tournament, Arthur Cazaux, 18, who was making his Grand Slam debut in the senior circuit, managed to grab a set from the Polish Kamil Majchrzak, 126e world, not yielding until after 3:28 of the match, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Mathias Bourgue, 197e world, meanwhile gave in to the German Dominik Köpfer in three sets (6-3, 6-3, 6-4) and just over two hours of play.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert close to the feat
Pierre-Hugues Herbert played a solid game against Italy’s Jannik Sinner. Faithful to his offensive play, the French Pierre-Hugues Herbert (85e in the ATP ranking) came close to signing the feat of the day. After a difficult start to the match on the Suzanne-Lenglen court, the Alsatian fought a fierce battle against the Italian Jannik Sinner (6e), one of the rare players to have jostled Rafael Nadal in his garden at Porte d’Auteuil.
The challenge that was proposed to him promised to be difficult to meet. “P2H” finally lost in five sets and 3:23 hours of play, after having obtained a match point in the fourth set: 6-1, 4-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4.
Caroline Garcia without forcing
On the Suzanne-Lenglen court, at the start of the afternoon, Caroline Garcia (58e) was expected for her entry into the running against the German Laura Siegemund (55e). The Lyonnaise, who recently changed coaches and played little in 2021, easily won against a Siegemund quickly overwhelmed by the power and the returns of the Frenchwoman. After a first round won without forcing (6-3), Garcia concluded the second in twenty-two small minutes (6-1), taking advantage of the many errors of his opponent. She will face Slovenian Polona Hercog, 73 on Wednesdaye world, which, for its part, won against the Dutch Kiki Bertens.
Alizé Cornet entrance exit
The tournament stopped at the start for Alizé Cornet, 65e world, beaten by her compatriot Harmony Tan (6-4, 6-4). The latter (23 years old), 149e world and beneficiary of an invitation, had never before passed the first round of the Parisian Major in two participations (2019 and 2020).
The scenario of the two rounds was identical: a quick break for Cornet, which then scuttles itself by multiplying unforced errors (31 in total in the match). The 149e world won the first Grand Slam victory of her career and her third of the year against a top 100 member. “My most beautiful victory”, she said after the game.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga does not pass the first round
For his return to the Grand Slam after more than a year of back injury, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will have fought nearly three hours before being eliminated as soon as he entered the competition at Roland Garros by the Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka (57e world player) in four sets, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5).
Grimacing on several points in a Suzanne-Lenglen court deserted in the middle of the match due to a curfew, Tsonga struggled to get back to two sets to one, before letting go in the tie-break of the fourth set, in which he will however have led 4-1. The 36-year-old Manceau fell back to the 77e world place, will therefore have won only one match this year out of the seven he has played since his return to the courts in February in Montpellier.
Roland-Garros 2021: Serena Williams and Federer quiet, Medvedev breaks the curse,
Serena Williams successfully opened the nightly sessions of Roland-Garros with a victory over Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu (74e) in two sets 7-6, 6-2 Monday, May 31 evening.
At 39, the American is still looking for a 24th Grand Slam crown that would allow her to equal the all-time record for major titles held by Australian Margaret Court. Serena Williams, whose shoes bear the inscription “I will never stop”, will face another Romanian, Mihaela Buzarnescu, in the second round.
The Polish Iga Swiatek, defending champion in Paris, for her part celebrated her 20e birthday on the Philippe-Chatrier court by dominating the Slovenian Kaja Juvan (6-0, 7-5).
The Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, 13e world winner and winner in 2016 but handicapped by back pain, was eliminated by the Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk (81e) in two sets 6-1, 6-4.
In the men’s table, the Swiss Roger Federer had a quiet entry at Roland Garros for his first Grand Slam match in sixteen months: he dominated the Uzbek qualifier Denis Istomin (204th) 6-2, 6-4, 6- 3 in just over 1 h 30 min Monday May 31.
World number two, Daniil Medvedev for his part finally won a match at Porte d’Auteuil. The Russian won, Monday, May 31, his first victory at Roland Garros in five participations by beating, in the first round, the Kazakh Alexander Bublik (37e) in three sets: 6-3, 6-3, 7-5.
“This year, I thought I was really bad on clay. But from day one here I felt I could play very well. I almost feel like I’m on hard “, he explained after the match. In the next round, he will face the winner of the meeting between the American Tommy Paul (52e) and Australia Christopher O’Connell (129e).
At 25, Medvedev stood out for his hard performance, notably at the 2019 US Open (finalist) and the 2020 Masters, which he won. His poor results on clay had raised questions when he was awarded the number two seed at Roland Garros while Nadal was seeded number three, finding himself in the same part of the table as Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.