Serena Williams made a triumphant Grand Slam return on Tuesday and advanced to the second round of the 2018 French Open, beating Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 (4), 6-4 in her comeback from a 16-month pregnancy absence.
Rafael Nadal moved on in his title defence at Roland Garros, battling past Simone Bolelli to clinch a second-round spot. Nadal emerged a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9) victor as the Italian put up a stubborn fight.
Third seed Marin Cilic was among a group of big names who progressed to the second round after he beat James Duckworth in straight sets. No. 9 John Isner also failed to drop a set but was pushed hard in his victory over American countryman Noah Rubin, edging the 22-year-old 6-3, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (7).
Meanwhile, Juan Martin del Potro came back from a set down to beat Nicolas Mahut and head into the next round, while Feliciano Lopez (28th seed) and Adrian Mannarino (25th) fell to Sergiy Stakhovsky and Steve Johnson, respectively.
Maria Sharapova made her return to Roland Garros after three years away due to her drug suspension, reopening her French Open account with a tough 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Richel Hogenkamp.
Sharapova is 28th in the women's seeds and will face Donna Vekic in the next round, while Garbine Muguruza (third seed) and Carolina Garcia (seventh) also advanced to the second stage. Angelique Kerber also made her French Open return and blazed past Mona Barthel in straight sets.
Read on for more discussion of Tuesday's first-round results from the French Open and highlights of the latest action at Roland Garros.
(1) Rafael Nadal def. Simone Bolelli: 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9)
Pablo Cuevas def. Aljaz Bedene: 6-4, 6-3, 6-2
(3) Marin Cilic def. James Duckworth: 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (4)
Jan-Lennard Struff def. Evgeny Donskoy: 6-1, 6-3, 6-0
Maximilian Marterer def. Ryan Harrison: 6-1, 6-3, 7-5
Hubert Hurkacz def. Tennys Sandgren: 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
(24) Denis Shapovalov def. John Millman: 7-5, 6-4, 6-2
(6) Kevin Anderson def. Paolo Lorenzi: 6-1, 6-2, 6-4
Thomas Fabbiano def. Matthew Ebden: 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
(9) John Isner def. Noah Rubin: 6-3, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (7)
Marton Fucsovics def. Vasek Pospisil: 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (5)
(18) Fabio Fognini def. Pablo Andujar: 6-4, 6-2, 6-1
Horacio Zeballos def. Yuichi Sugita: 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-2
(16) Kyle Edmund def. Alex de Minaur: 6-2, 6-4, 6-3
Guido Pella def. Joao Sousa: 6-2, 6-3, 6-4
Ruben Bemelmans def. Yuki Bhambri: 6-4, 6-4, 6-1
Steve Johnson def. (25) Adrian Mannarino: 7-6 (1), 6-2, 6-2
Mischa Zverev def. Florian Mayer: 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (3)
Elias Ymer def. Dudi Sela: 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-1
(5) Juan Martin del Potro def. Nicolas Mahut: 1-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4
Sergiy Stakhovsky def. (28) Feliciano Lopez: 6-2, 6-4, 6-2
Serena Williams def. Kristyna Pliskova: 7-6 (4), 6-4
Fiona Ferro def. Carina Witthoeft: 6-4, 6-2
Bethanie Mattek-Sands def. Johanna Larsson: 6-4, 6-3
(3) Garbine Muguruza def. Svetlana Kuznetsova: 7-6 (0), 6-2
Samantha Stosur def. Yanina Wickmayer: 6-2, 6-4
(24) Daria Gavrilova def. Sorana Cirstea: 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3
Irina-Camelia Begu def. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova: 6-4, 5-7, 9-7
(27) Shuai Zhang def. Kristina Kucova: 6-0, 7-5
(28) Maria Sharapova def. Richel Hogenkamp: 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
(16) Elise Mertens def. Varvara Lepchenko: 6-7 (9), 7-6 (4), 6-0
Alison van Uytvanck def. Isabelle Wallace: 6-1, 6-0
Aliaksandra Sasnovich def. Denisa Allertova: 6-4, 6-3
(18) Kiki Bertens def. Aryna Sabalenka: 6-2, 6-1
(7) Caroline Garcia def. Yingying Duan: 6-1, 6-0
(17) Ashleigh Barty def. Natalia Vikhlyantseva: 6-3, 6-1
(30) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova def. Polona Hercog: 6-4, 7-6 (1)
Taylor Townsend def. Myrtille Georges: 6-4, 6-2
(11) Julia Gorges def. Dominika Cibulkova: 6-4, 5-7, 6-0
Shuai Peng def. Aleksandra Krunic: 6-3, 6-4
(12) Angelique Kerber def. Mona Barthel: 6-2, 6-3
Ana Bogdan def. Marketa Vondrousova: 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
Visit the Roland Garros website for the results in full.
In her first major appearance since winning the 2017 Australian Open, Williams was effective, if not efficient, in her 7-6 (4), 6-4 beating of Pliskova. She said after the display she's happy to take her return slowly, per BBC Sport.
"It's been two years since I played on clay," Williams said. "It's been a really long time, but I trained really hard on the clay. I feel good. I'm just happy to have won a match here. I'm just taking it a day at a time."
The birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., last year meant a temporary hiatus on the three-time French Open winner's tennis career, but her first major match in almost 18 months posed positive omens:
Nadal's 80th match victory at Roland Garros required a gritty performance against Bolelli after the pair resumed on Tuesday, rain having called off their Monday evening clash with the Spaniard leading 6-4, 6-3, 0-3.
Bolelli pushed the defending champion to his first tiebreak at Roland Garros since his 2013 semi-final victory over Novak Djokovic, per tennis writer Jose Morgado, who also provided proof Nadal was worthy of his win:
The overnight break appeared to serve Nadal well as he won the first three games after resuming on Tuesday to tie 3-3 before grunting to a hard-fought tiebreak triumph, keeping his streak of set victories intact.
Nadal was humble in victory and spoke well of Bolelli, who held a fine account of himself despite the straight-sets scoreline, per Metro's George Bellshaw:
Del Potro has a good draw at Roland Garros and could launch a title run if he can stay healthy, heaving recovered from a shaky start against Mahur to come out on top 1-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.
Isner served 28 aces in his straight-sets win over Rubin and faced only two break points in the match, both of which came at 4-4 in the third and final set as the more experienced American moved on.
Cilic kept up Tuesday's theme of favourites advancing as he beat Duckworth 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (4), and his favourable-looking run to the finals bracket will continue against Hubert Hurkacz:
Aside from the attention courted by Williams, Sharapova's return to the French Open drew an audience of its own, although that meant the nerves suggested by her mid-match wobble were also on full view.
Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times illustrated how she was cruising against Hogenkamp before her Dutch opponent found an opening back into contention:
Kerber made it past the opening round of the French Open for the first time since 2015 on Tuesday, cruising past German countrywoman Barthel 6-2, 6-3 to set up a second-round showdown with Romanian Ana Bogdan.
After a run to the semi-finals in Australia at the start of the year, this could signal the return to her best, although it will be her comfort on clay that's likely to decide how far she gets.
No. 3 Muguruza was the highest-seeded star in action in the women's singles on Tuesday, and she looked superb on the Parisian clay as she strode to a straight-sets smashing of Svetlana Kuznetsova:
She and seventh seed Caroline Garcia will be ones to keep an eye one, particularly after the latter demolished Yingying Duan 6-1, 6-0, sending a statement to the rest of the field as she took her place in the second round.