On a rain interrupted 2nd day in Paris we had thrills and spills as champions were again ousted, seasoned veterans shone through the clouds and the French crowd played its part as is so often the case.
First to the upsets- and having not played since February and nursing a significant elbow injury, it was always going to be a struggle for Babora Krejcikova to defend her title here, but yesterday’s loss to the unfancied local fille Dian Parry was still a surprise. Especially so after the first set where nerves got the better of Parry, but when they transferred to her opponent and once the masses found their voice, it was a certainty. Echoes then of 2018 and the last time a defending champ lost in the opener at the French – Ostapenko. You have to go back to Myskina in 2005 for the previous time before then.
Anyway, stats book aside for now, we also lost Stan Wawrinka and it was a similar story really, in so far as no-one really expected much more from the recovering former champ, but a 2nd round match up against Nadal would have been nice. The 5th seed Anna Kontaveit was dumped out yesterday making things even more serene perhaps for Swiatek [who breezed through] and we also waved adieu to Naomi Osaka who caused plenty of controversy again. Her match against the sublime Anisimova was of high quality and the Japanese can leave with her head held high – as far as on-court goings on are concerned – but again, with her saying that she might skip Wimbledon which to her is more of an ‘exhibition‘ without ranking points. Hmm not great.
There were easy victories for the aforementioned Swiatek and Nadal, but so too for Djokovic and Kvitova. The Brits enjoyed significant success too as both Dan Evans and in particular Cameron Norrie impressed majorly with their straight sets wins over decent opponents. Emma Raducanu compensated for losses for Heather Watson and Harriet Dart, with a stirring comeback against fellow senior RG debutant and last year’s junior champ Linda Noskova.
But – for me – Day 2 belonged to the golden oldies as the likes of Azarenka, Cilic, Petkovic and Kerber [in crowd-pleasing fashion] all won. Richard Gasquet was looking good to join them before that rain came back for good.
Day 3 picks
Ruud vs Tsonga [emotion]
Badosa vs Ferro [potential upset]
Townsend vs Garcia [entertainment]
Musetti vs Tsitsipas [entertainment]
Halep vs Schunk [Simona!]