Day 5 in Paris was just like yesterday a successful day for the biggest names, as Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams all advanced to the third round.
World No.1 Simona Halep didn’t have a day off between her first-round and second-round match, but the Romanian blazed past American Taylor Townsend 6-3 6-1 to reach the third round. The score does look very straightforward, but Halep squandered a 5-1 lead in the first set and needed as many as five set points to finally seal it with a forehand winner that ended a 16-stroke rally. Moreover, after the match Halep revealed that she was greatly troubled by Townsend’s left-handed topspin. Next up for Halep is Andrea Petkovic, whose only comment on her upcoming match is that she hopes it won’t end like a Greek tragedy haha.
In the morning hours, Garbine Muguruza faced a stern test in French world No.257 Fiona Ferro, who played well above her ranking, especially in the 44-minute first set in which the Spanish favorite won just 4 points more than her lower-ranked opponent. The seventh game was the turning point in the second set, as Muguruza went up a break then and two games later closed out the 6-4 6-3 win on her first match point on Ferro’s serve.
After an exchange of breaks at the very beginning of the second-round match between Maria Sharapova and Donna Vekic, games went with serve until the eighth game when Sharapova fired a powerful return, which was probably even faster than Vekic’s serve, to earn a 5-3 lead. However, the two-time French Open champion, who is now competing in Paris for the first time since 2015, allowed world No.52 Vekic to break back before eventually getting over the line. In the second set, the 28th-seeded Sharapova again dropped serve early on and again failed to serve it out at 5-3, but eventually the triumph was hers, 7-5 6-4.
Late at night on Court Philippe Chatrier, catwoman Serena Williams continued her return from maternity leave with an entertaining comeback victory over 17th-seeded Ashleigh Barty, 3-6 6-3 6-4. The 23-time Grand Slam champion pulled off her traditional comeback performance in the high-quality match against the 22-year-old Australian. I often forget how great a gap is between the Williams sisters and other active players until I see comparisons such as this one! And also, remember the photo of Venus next to little Caroline Wozniacki?