Wednesday at the French Open was mostly a successful day for seeds, as the highest-ranked players all beat their opponents, some more easily than others. World No.1 Simona Halep was the only one who played her first-round match on Day 4, as all the others were fighting for a spot in the third round.
In the morning on Court Philippe Chatrier, top seed Simona Halep finally opened her French Open campaign. The Romanian had trouble adjusting to the tournament, trailing 0-5 against Alison Riske in the first set and losing it quickly. However, she found her groove and brushed her opponent aside by losing a total of just two games in the second and third set for a 2-6 6-1 6-1 triumph.
At the same time on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Viktoria Kuzmova showed from the onset that she meant business, so fourth seed Elina Svitolina had a tough time taming her opponent, but serving at 4-3, the Slovak 20-year-old succumbed to the Ukrainian’s experience and suffered a break, the sole break that was enough for the favorite to win the set.
In the second set, Svitolina went 3-1 up, but in the sixth game Kuzmova converted a break point for the first time and leveled to 3-3. In tight games that followed, it was the returner that held the upper hand and it was Svitolina who ended that series of breaks, comfortably serving out the match at 5-4 for a 6-3 6-4 victory that pushed her into the third round in Paris for the fourth straight year.
Second seed Caroline Wozniacki needed only 51 minutes to advance past world No.219 Georgina Garcia Perez 6-1 6-0, while surprise 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens, who did not play Roland Garros last year because of a foot injury, wasted only 62 minutes against world No.136 Magdalena Frech and impressed former US Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe, who tweeted:
Sloane Stephens is winning this tournament.
Kateryna Kozlova, the conqueror of defending champion Jelena Ostapenko, lost in the second round to Katerina Siniakova 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4.
After yesterday’s singles victory, Serena Williams, again dressed in her catsuit, teamed up with sister Venus, who had lost on Day 1 in singles competition, to beat Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Miyu Kato 4-6 6-4 6-1 in the first round of women’s doubles in front of a Court 3 crowd. BTW, here’s what Serena had to say about her outfit:
I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, (a) queen from Wakanda.
I’m always living in a fantasy world. I always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero.
I feel like a superhero when I wear it.