Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic fare as Roland Garros continues without Osaka

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The master of Claycourt Rafael Nadal and the world number one Novak Djokovic embarked on the second round of Roland Garros where the shock waves of the withdrawal of Naomi Osaka were still being felt.

The Japanese Osaka left the Grand Slam on clay on Monday after refusing to attend mandatory post-match press conferences and revealing she had suffered from depression for three years.

While Nadal and Djokovic had no problems against their respective opponents Alexei Popyrin and Tennys Sandgren, Russian seventh seed Andrey Rublev was eliminated in five sets by non-seeded German Jan-Lennard Struff.

On the women’s side, former runner-up Venus Williams made another outing in the first round while fellow American Sloane Stephens won in straight sets against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.

For the first time since tennis turned professional in 1968, only three French people have reached the second round.

Serbian Novak Djokovic in action during his first round match against American REUTERS / Christian Hartmann’s Tennys Sandgren

DJOKOVIC MAKES SANDGREN’S PAST EASIER

World number one Novak Djokovic barely broke a sweat as he beat American Tennys Sandgren 6-2 6-4 6-2 in the first round of the scheduled men’s opener during an overnight session at Roland Garros.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion, who is on a collision course in the semifinals with 13-time Roland Garros winner Rafal Nadal, will next face Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.

STEPHENS REBOUNDS TO OVERCOME SUAREZ NAVARRO

Sloane Stephens saved a match point at 5-4 in the second set and beat Carla Suarez Navarro 3-6 7-6 (4) 6-4 in 2 hours and 24 minutes. The 28-year-old American will face Czech ninth seed Karolina Pliskova in the next round.

Suarez Navarro returned to tennis five weeks after announcing that she had recovered from cancer. The 32-year-old man was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in September of last year.

PLISKOVA PROGRESS WITH GAUFF

Ninth seed Karolina Pliskova beat Croatian Donna Vekic 7-5 6-4. Coco Gauff, who is ranked 24th this year, also progressed in straight sets, beating Serbian Aleksandra Krunic 7-6 (11) 6-4 in just over two hours.

VENUS VAINCUE TAKES A LOOK AT THE PRESS

Venus Williams did nothing when asked how she handled the pressure of dealing with the media:

“The way I deal with it is that I know that every person who asks me a question can’t and never will play as well as I do, so no matter what you say or write you don’t. ‘never light a candle. , “she said.” This is how I handle it. “

NADAL OPENS AN ACCOUNT WITH WIN OVER POPYRIN

Third seed Rafa Nadal started his title defense with a complete 6-3 6-2 7-6 (3) victory over Australia’s Alexei Popyrin. The Spaniard sent in seven aces, hit 28 winners and made just 23 unforced errors as he claimed his 101st victory at Roland Garros.

VENUS WON IN OPENING AGAIN

Former champion Venus Williams is out in the first round for the fourth consecutive year after being beaten 6-3 6-1 by Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova.

MLADENOVIC TOMB SCHMIEDLOVA

France’s Kristina Mladenovic served a bagel en route to beat Slovak qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-4 6-0 on Simonne Mathieu court.

Mladenovic sent in 26 winners but will need to improve on her 35 unforced errors if she is to match her previous best result reaching the quarter-finals of her home Grand Slam four years ago.

SEVENTH RUBLEV SEED FALLS BY STRUFF

Russian seventh seed Andrey Rublev was upset 6-3 7-6 (6) 4-6 3-6 6-4 by unranked German Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round. Rublev made 47 unforced errors during the 3 hour and 46 minute marathon, while Struff sent 63 winners, including 25 aces.

MONFILS BAT RAMOS-VINOLAS

Local favorite Gael Monfils came back from a set to beat Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas 1-6 7-6 (6) 6-4 6-4. The Frenchman, who is ranked 14th this year, sent in 12 aces and 60 winners, but also made 75 unforced errors.

KVITOVA WITHDRAWALS AFTER ANKLE INJURY

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has withdrawn from Roland Garros after suffering an abnormal injury while performing her post-match media duties on Sunday.

“It’s incredibly unlucky,” Kvitova said on Twitter. “During my post-game press demands, I fell and injured my ankle.”

BARTY GRINDS OUT WINS ON PERA

World number one Ash Barty was pushed to three sets by non-seeded American Bernarda Pera, before winning 6-4 3-6 6-2. Pera touched 36 winners, but also made 49 unforced errors.

“I continue to fight. I tried to stay in the game as long as possible because you never know, ”Barty said.

DE MINAUR ADVANCES WITH WINNING RIGHT SETS

21st seed Alex de Minaur beat Italian Stefano Travaglia 6-2 6-4 7-6 (4). The Australian will then face another Italian in Marco Cecchinato, who beat Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-4.

SVITOLINA SURVIVES THE BABEL TEST

Fifth seed Elina Svitolina found herself down 5-2 in the second set but recovered to beat French teenager Oceane Babel 6-2 7-5. The next step for Svitolina is a second round clash with American Ann Li, who beat Margarita Gasparyan 6-0 6-1.

SAKKARI TOO GOOD FOR ZAVATSKA QUALIFICATION

17th seed of Greece Maria Sakkari beat Ukraine qualifier Katarina Zavatska 6-4 6-1 to reach the second round. Jennifer Brady also advanced by beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-3 while Ons Jabeur defeated Yulia Putintseva 7-5 6-2.



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