Former champions Garbine Muguruza and Maria Sharapova overcame tough challenges to advance into the second round of the French Open on Day 3.
In the morning on Court 1, Muguruza faced fellow past Roland Garros winner Svetlana Kuznetsova in a good-quality match in which when one player stepped up her game the other one answered right back. Muguruza opened the encounter by breaking Kuznetsova’s serve and the Spaniard held on to that lead until the sixth game when the Russian broke back to level to 3-3. The same scenario repeated, as Muguruza went up 5-3, only for Kuznetsova to recover to 5-5. After the 10th game, the rain that teased this match from the beginning finally managed to stop it and after a 90-minute rain delay, Kuznetsova was finally undone by the third seed’s attacks at the net, 7-6(0) 6-2.
Later on on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Sharapova’s game sent a threatening message to all her upcoming opponents, as the never-giving-up Russian, two-time champion in Paris, came back from the brink of defeat against Richel Hogenkamp, winning six straight games from 0-3 down in the third set to survive 6-1 4-6 6-3.
Early into the match, Sharapova seemed to be cruising, having a 6-1 3-1 lead, but her Dutch opponent ranked No.133 in the world took charge, won the 46-minute second set and looked to be racing through the deciding set. That’s when Sharapova’s aggressiveness finally teamed up with preciseness instead of errors and the five-time Grand Slam champion broke Hogenkamp’s serve twice to lead 4-3 and show who’s the boss, when Hogenhamp broke her racquet in frustration. In the following games, Hogenkamp’s ship continued to sink and the 28th-seeded Sharapova set up a mouth-watering clash with Donna Vekic in the second round.