Nadal strolls at French Open as Osaka, Krejcikova crash out

SuchTV  |  May 24, 2022

Nadal strolls at French Open as Osaka, Krejcikova crash out
Nadal, on a quarter-final collision course with Novak Djokovic, brushed Australia’s Thompson aside 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 to improve his Roland Garros record to 106 wins and just three losses since his 2005 title-winning debut.

“I’m very happy with the victory today. I’m happy to get through in three sets,” said Nadal, seeded fifth. “It’s a first round, a positive match for me. Straight sets but with significant room for improvement.”

The Spaniard, who last week downplayed concerns over the recurrence of a foot injury that plagued him in Rome, meets Corentin Moutet in round two after the French wildcard defeated 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka.

American 13th seed Taylor Fritz, who missed the Madrid and Rome Open with injury, clinched a hard-fought 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over Argentina Santiago Rodriguez Taverna.

Fritz’ compatriot Reilly Opelka, seeded 18th, lost to Filip Krajnovic in straight sets earlier.

Osaka, the unseeded four-time Grand Slam winner, was knocked out earlier in the day 7-5, 6-4 by Amanda Anisimova — the same player who ended the Japanese star’s title defence at the Australian Open this year.

Osaka served eight double faults and committed 29 unforced errors on her return to Roland Garros, after withdrawing in 2021 when she refused to honour mandatory media commitments before revealing she had been suffering from depression.

As rain stopped play on the outside courts for two hours, Krejcikova followed Osaka through the exit door, going down 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to 19-year-old Frenchwoman Diane Parry in her first match since February following injury.

The Czech world number two had yet to play on clay this season after being sidelined by an elbow problem.

Iga Swiatek, the favourite for the women’s title, stretched her winning streak to 29 matches by dispatching Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 6-0 in 54 minutes.

The 20-year-old Swiatek, who took over as world number one following Ashleigh Barty’s shock retirement, has won her last five tournaments and is bidding for a second French Open in three attempts.

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka came back from a set down to prevail 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 in a gruelling three-hour battle against Ana Bogdan to advance to the second round, where she will meet Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.

Twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova rallied from 2-5 to take the first set against Hungarian Anna Bondar on the tiebreak before cruising through the second to triumph 7-6 (7-0), 6-1. She will meet Australia’s Daria Saville in the second round.

Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, who returned to action in April following a six-month mental health hiatus, moved into the second round with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 win over Belgian qualifier Ysaline Bonaventure.

In Sunday’s late action, Spain’s 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz lived up to the mounting hype with a winning start.

Alcaraz, bidding to become just the eighth teenager to capture a major men’s title, defeated Argentine lucky loser Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 without facing a break point on his Court Philippe Chatrier debut.

Widely tipped to end the dominance of 13-time champion Rafael Nadal and two-time winner Novak Djokovic, Alcaraz extended his season record to 29 wins and just three losses.

German third seed Alexander Zverev, a semi-finalist last year and who is scheduled to face Alcaraz in the quarter-finals, also eased into the second round with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win over Austria’s Sebastian Ofner, the world number 218.

In the women’s draw, Greek fourth seed and 2021 semi-finalist Maria Sakkari made the second round with a 6-2, 6-3 win over France’s Clara Burel.

Coco Gauff defeated Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino 7-5, 6-0, a day after the 18-year-old celebrated her high school graduation.

Leylah Fernandez, last year’s US Open finalist, defeated Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic 6-0, 7-5.

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