Red dirt capital offers green experience at French Open

Tuesday, 28 May, 2019

Play has started at Roland Garros on Day 2 of the clay-court Grand Slam tournament.

Germany's Angelique Kerber leaves the court after losing her first round match against Russia's Anastasia Potapova.

Federer, the owner of 20 Grand Slam titles, will turn 38 in August and, frankly, who knows how many more of these he has left? Or will this early defeat actually be a blessing in disguise, allowing her time to recover physically and mentally for Wimbledon? The team are unanimous in their praise of his tennis, but they're less convinced about his fashion choices.

Roger Federer entered a refurbished Court Philippe Chatrier for his first French Open match since 2015, greeted by the sun peeking through the clouds and the full-throated support of spectators in their designer sunglasses, straw hats and sweaters tied over their shoulders.

Kerber's Slam must wait, and she admitted that she would need to reassess the treatment to foot and ankle in preparation for the grass season. The lone loss came at the 2012 French Open. Venus had a break lead in the second before Svitolina won the last five games. She lost the first set 6-2, and was 4-0 down before an hour had passed on the clock.

"I tried to approach (it) as a run-of-the-mill match so as not to have too much pressure on my shoulders", Parry, who idolises Roger Federer, said after beating Vera Lapko 6-2 6-4.

"I'm so disappointed to have to announce my withdrawal from Roland Garros".

Potapova's first win over a top 10 player gives her a second round clash against either China's Wang Yafan or Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic. He's ranked No. 22 having never finished a Grand Slam main-draw match.

The Swiss has played down his chances of winning the title, although 73rd-ranked Sonego, making his main draw debut at Roland Garros having lost in qualifying past year, should not cause him undue alarm as he reaquaints himself with his surroundings. She did not run with her usual energy for drop shots, managed not one ace, and was struggling to second-guess Potapova.

Also Sunday, sixth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Federer at the Australian Open, plays Maximilian Marterer.

"When you step in on the court and you know you play your, I would say idol, you've just got to show your best".

Karolina Pliskova and last year's runner-up Sloane Stephens were among the other winners on the opening day, while Svetlana Kuznetsova was knocked out by the 203-ranked Kristina Kucova a decade after winning the title.