Barty advances at French Open, Rublev eliminated

Published June 2, 2021
PARIS: Andrey Rublev of Russia returns the ball to Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff during their men’s singles first-round match on Tuesday.—AFP
PARIS: Andrey Rublev of Russia returns the ball to Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff during their men’s singles first-round match on Tuesday.—AFP

PARIS: At the mercy of Bernarda Pera’s deep groundstrokes and struggling with her moves, top-ranked Ashleigh Barty gave the impression that her return to Roland Garros would be short-lived.

In ideal playing conditions on the sun-kissed Court Philippe Chatrier, Barty was often left stranded on the red clay by the big shots of her American rival. But two years after claiming the French Open title, the top-ranked Australian fought hard enough to overcome the challenge and eventually prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 on Tuesday.

As Pera lost her focus and hit 19 unforced errors in the deciding set, Barty made up for her lack of mobility with clever combinations of lobs and angled shots. She played with her left thigh bandaged and received medical treatment after Pera leveled at one-set apiece.

“I just keep fighting, I just keep trying,” Barty said after improving her three-set match record to 12-2 this year.

Barty decided not to defend her title last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the buildup to the French Open, she played 13 matches on clay, winning 11. But she was forced to retire in the quarter-finals in Rome because of an injury to her right arm, raising concerns about her condition ahead of the tournament in Paris.

The seeded players in the women’s draw scheduled early in the day got off solid starts. Fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina trailed 5-2 in the second set but beat wild card Oceane Babel 6-2, 7-5. Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady breezed past Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-3 to reach the second round and match her best performance at the French Open.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova pulled out of the tournament because of an ankle injury. Kvitova said she fell and hurt her ankle during post-match press requirements after her first-round victory on Sunday. The 11th-seeded Kvitova saved a match point before coming back to beat Greet Minnen 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

In the men’s draw, up-and-coming Aslan Karatsev beat American Jenson Brooksby 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and was joined in the second round by 14th-seeded Gael Monfils. But seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev was knocked out in the first round, losing 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 3-6, 6-4 to Jan-Lennard Struff.

Earlier, play was briefly delayed on Court Simonne-Mathieu following a bomb scare near the stadium that turned out to be a false alarm, according to French police. A security perimeter was quickly set up as spectators and tournament employees were forced to enter the venue via another access.

Results on Tuesday (prefix number denotes seeding):

Men’s singles:

First round: James Duckworth (Australia) bt Salvatore Caruso (Italy) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2; Ricardas Berankis (Lithuania) bt 29-Ugo Humbert (France) 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4; 21-Alex De Minaur (Australia) bt Stefano Travaglia (Italy) 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4); Marco Cecchinato (Italy) bt Yasutaka Uchiyama (Japan) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4; Mikael Ymer (Sweden) bt Roberto Carballes Baena (Spain) 6-4, 0-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2; 14-Gael Monfils (France) bt Albert Ramos Vinolas (Spain) 1-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-4; Aljaz Bedene (Slovenia) bt Adrian Mannarino (France) 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2; 24-Aslan Karatsev (Russia) bt Jenson Brooksby (US) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; Facundo Bagnis (Argentina) bt Benjamin Bonzi (France) 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

Women’s singles:

First round: 1-Ashleigh Barty (Australia) bt Bernarda Pera (US) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2; Astra Sharma (Australia) bt Irina Maria Bara (Romania) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2; 25-Ons Jabeur (Tunisia) bt Yulia Putintseva (Kazakhstan) 7-5, 6-2; Fiona Ferro (France) bt Liang En-shuo (Taiwan) 6-1, 1-6, 6-4; 13-Jennifer Brady (US) bt Anastasija Sevastova (Latvia) 6-3, 6-3; Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic) bt Kristyna Pliskova (Czech Republic) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2; Ann Li (US) bt Margarita Gasparyan (Russia) 6-0, 6-1; 5-Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) bt Oceane Babel (France) 6-2, 7-5; 17-Maria Sakkari (Greece) bt Katarina Zavatska (Ukraine) 6-4, 6-1; Jasmine Paolini (Italy) bt Stefanie Voegele (Switzerland) 7-5, 6-1; Kristina Mladenovic (France) bt Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (Slovakia) 6-4, 6-0.

Monday’s remaining results:

Men’s singles:

First round: Yoshihito Nishioka (Japan) bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France) 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5); Lorenzo Musetti (Italy) bt 13-David Goffin (Belgium) 6-0, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3); 30-Taylor Fritz (US) bt Joao Sousa (Portugal) 6-4, 6-2, 6-4; Dominik Koepfer (Germany) bt Mathias Bourgue (France) 6-3, 6-3, 6-4; Marin Cilic (Croatia) bt Arthur Rinderknech (France) 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, 6-2; 8-Roger Federer (Switzerland) bt Denis Istomin (Uzbekistan) 6-2, 6-4, 6-3; Lloyd Harris (South Africa) bt 26-Lorenzo Sonego (Italy) 7-5, 6-4, 6-4; 28-Nikoloz Basilashvili (Georgia) bt Dusan Lajovic (Serbia) 6-4, 6-3, 0-6, 6-2; Carlos Alcaraz (Spain) bt Bernabe Zapata Miralles (Spain) 6-3, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4); 15-Casper Ruud (Norway) bt Benoit Paire (France) 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4); Kamil Majchrzak (Poland) bt Arthur Cazaux (France) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4; Pedro Martinez (Spain) bt Sebastian Korda (US) 6-4, 6-2, 6-2; 32-Reilly Opelka (US) bt Andrej Martin (Slovakia) 6-3, 6-2, 6-4; Jaume Munar (Spain) bt Jordan Thompson (Australia) 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4; Tommy Paul (US) bt Christopher O’Connell (Australia) 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6, 10-8.

Women’s singles:

First round: 4-Sofia Kenin (US) bt Jelena Ostapenko (Latvia) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3; Tereza Martincova (Czech Republic) bt Ivana Jorovic (Serbia) 6-3, 7-6 (8-6); 28-Jessica Pegula (US) bt Zhu Lin (China) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; Zarina Diyas (Kazakhstan) bt Heather Watson (Great Britain) 6-4, 7-5; Marta Kostyuk (Ukraine) bt 12-Garbie Muguruza (Spain) 6-1, 6-4; Zheng Saisai (China) bt Sara Sorribes Tormo (Spain) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; Varvara Gracheva (Russia) bt Lara Arruabarrena (Spain) 6-2, 6-3; 7-Serena Williams (US) bt Irina Camelia-Begu (Romania) 7-6 (8-6), 6-2; Mihaela Buzarnescu (Romania) bt Arantxa Rus (Netherlands) 7-5, 7-5; Tamara Zidansek (Slovenia) bt 6-Bianca Andreescu (Canada) 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (7-2), 9-7; Sorana Cirstea (Romania) bt 19-Johanna Konta (Great Britain) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2; Martina Trevisan (Italy) bt Alison Van Uytvanck (Belgium) 7-5, 4-6, 6-4; Darya Kasatkina (Russia) bt Misaki Doi (Japan) 6-3, 5-7, 6-3; 10-Belinda Bencic (Switzerland) bt Nadia Podoroska (Argentina) 6-0, 6-3; Caroline Garcia (France) bt Laura Siegemund (Germany) 6-3, 6-1; Harmony Tan (France) bt Alize Cornet (France) 6-4, 6-4.

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2021

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