Clay takes many tennis players out of their element, making for thrilling competition, and Day 1 of the 2013 French Open resulted in just that.
Here were the most exciting first-round showdowns Sunday.
3. Galina Voskoboeva over Grace Min 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
Neither woman is ranked in the top 100 in the WTA World Rankings, but that didn’t stop them from putting on a show. Each set went down to the wire in their back-and-forth affair. The third and final’s conclusion was even more epic than the two prior, with Voskoboeva surviving Round 1 for the third time in her French Open career.
2. Andreas Seppi over Leonardo Mayer 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4
Seppi lost in the first round of the Nice Open last week, but he bounced back in a thriller Sunday. The ATP World No. 22 found himself in a hole early only to climb out in the next two sets. In danger of falling back in the hole after losing the fourth set to Mayer, Seppi finished strong and advanced to the next round.
1. Urszula Radwanska over Venus Williams 7-6, 6-7, 7-4
Tennis fanatics didn’t get too worked up over this upset.
According to the WTA World Rankings, the other Radwanska is the 40th-best player on the planet and the other Williams is only No. 32.
Williams is one of the biggest names in tennis history (her 44 career singles tournament titles ranks seventh all time) and part of the most famous pair, but she never won a French Open. The 32-year-old with a bad back also lost in the second round in 2012 and failed to advance past the fourth round once since 2006.
While the upset isn’t as shocking as it seems to the common sports fan, any heated three-set bout like Williams and Radwanska’s on Sunday deserves a standing applause for its epicness.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and a news editor at Wade-O Radio.