Much like the first day of the French Open, there weren't too many upsets or shockers on Monday at Roland Garros.
There was a bit more intrigue, including a major upset in the women's tournament, another top women's player battling back after digging herself a deep hole and a young American on the men's side who looked poised to pull off an upset, only to crumble in the end.
Let's recap some of the more interesting action from the French Open's second day.
Ryan Harrison Was So Close, Yet Remains So Far Away
|Gilles Simon (11)||3||7||6||6|
After taking the first set, Harrison found himself up 5-3 in the second with two serves at double-set point to take a commanding two-set lead against the favored Gilles.
And he blew it.
Simon survived the point to break serve, Harrison seemed to permanently lose his cool after being given a racquet abuse warning from the chair umpire during the point, and Simon never looked back.
It was another typical showing for the 20-year-old Harrison—flash the talent to succeed at the top level but watch the match unravel as his poise and cool dripped away. Harrison is probably the next great hope for American men's tennis, but not until he learns to keep his composure in times of adversity.
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer Cruise
|Novak Djokovic (1)||7||6||6|
|Potito Starace||6 ||3 ||1
|Roger Federer (3)||6||7||6|
|Tobias Kamke||2 ||5 ||3
Djokovic had to sweat a little bit in a first-set tiebreaker (7-3), but he cruised after that. Meanwhile, Federer was challenged by Kamke in the second set but sandwiched that with dominating displays in the first and third.
I would not expect either player to face a serious challenge until later in this tournament. At the moment, each—along with Rafael Nadal—is so much better than the rest of the field, anything less than a trip to the semifinals would have to be considered a monumental disappointment.
Feliciano Lopez Exits
In a major disappointment, the 15th-seeded Spaniard had to retire from his match while trailing Florent Serra 0-5 in the first set, citing a muscle injury.
While Lopez wasn't a contender in this tournament, he surely hoped to reverse his poor play of late, as he is now winless in his third straight tournament.
Victoria Azarenka Labors
|Victoria Azarenka (1)||6||6||6|
The WTA's top-ranked player looked anything but crisp in her opening match.
Victoria Azarenka will rebound and go on a long run at the French Open.
Azarenka dropped the first set to Alberta Brianti and was trailing 4-0 in the second set when she finally kicked things into gear, winning 12 of the final 14 games and surviving to move on to the next round.
She was lucky to do so—she committed 60 unforced errors in the match and looked anything but dominant early on.
Azarenka may have won four early tournaments early this season—rattling off 26 straight matches in the process—but if she plays this poorly again, she could be sent home rather quickly at Roland Garros.
American Ladies Owned the Day
|Vania King||6 ||6
|Galina Voskoboeva||4 ||2
|Ekaterina Makarova||4 ||6
Sloane Stephens ||6 ||7
|Sabine Lisicki (12)||4 ||3
|Bethanie Mattek-Sands||6 ||6
|Varvara Lepchenko||6 ||6 ||6
|Ksenia Pervak||2 ||7 ||4
That's right, world—the American ladies were 6-0 at Roland Garros on Day 2—Memorial Day here in the States.
In all, the United States is now 10-0 in the women's draw at the tournament, with two more players to go on Tuesday, including Serena Williams. It's the most women the United States has seen advance to the second round of the French Open since sending 11 players through in 2003.
The biggest shocker had to be Bethanie Mattek-Sands' surprising upset over the 12th-seeded German Sabine Lisicki, although Lauren Davis knocking off the 30th-ranked Mona Barthel—and with relative ease—was a huge shocker as well.
Of course, you should have seen the Sloane Stephens win coming, since I predicted the upset yesterday.
In all, the first round has been very kind to the Americans. But there is a lot of tennis yet to be played in France, so hopefully our ladies will not rest on their laurels.
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