Not every big name breezed through the first round of the 2013 French Open.
Several stars were tested against opponents they would likely smoke in straight sets nine times out of 10. No need to panic, though. Here are two notable Roland Garros competitors who will bounce back after their shaky starts.
Ivanovic isn’t the superstar she once was, but she’s still the WTA world No. 14 and is a former French Open champion. Those labels carry expectations, and she nearly didn’t meet them in Round 1. Petra Martic of Croatia pushed her to a third set in a match Ivanovic fought back to win 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
Thanks to Zuzana Kucova upsetting No. 28 Julia Goerges, No. 94 Mathilde Johansson is the only woman ranked in the top 100 in between Ivanovic and a date with Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round. Ivanovic will rebound.
Should Rafa be favored over Djokovic?
One set into the French Open, an event the Spaniard won seven out of the last eight times he competed, Nadal found himself playing catch up against Germany’s Daniel Brands. Nadal lost the first set but ultimately stormed back to win 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-3. His struggles were enough to give Novak Djokovic plenty of reasons to believe he’ll be able to dethrone the King of Clay for his first French Open victory.
The ATP world No. 4’s outing should’ve been easier against the inferior No. 59 Brands. However, Rafa is on schedule to avoid facing off against a top 10 talent until No. 9 Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals, and Nadal has never lost to the French star. Rafa possesses plenty of time to regain his form—which, considering his 36-2 record this season, he won’t have any problem doing—and he should still be the favorite to hoist The Musketeers’ Trophy.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.