Defending champs Djokovic, Muguruza advance at French Open - Tsonga, Kvitova eliminated at Roland Garros
One struggled, the other had a stroll in the park.
In contrasting fashion, defending champions Novak Djokovic and Garbine Muguruza both advanced to the third round at the French Open yesterday.
Second-seeded Djokovic barely put a foot wrong in a 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 win over Joao Sousa, while Muguruza had to dig deep to avoid becoming the first reigning champion at Roland Garros to lose in the second round since 2014, when she upset Serena Williams.
Resuming his quest for a 10th title in Paris, Rafael Nadal later joined Djokovic and Muguruza without dropping a set, dispatching Robin Haase 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 49 minutes.
The fourth-seeded Muguruza was made to work hard for more than two hours on the Philippe Chatrier show court before rallying past 53rd-ranked Anett Kontaveit 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2.
Playing at Roland Garros for the 20th time, a record in the Open era, Venus Williams also reached the third round after defeating Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-3, 6-1.
Djokovic said he was pleased with his form after coming through some difficult times since completing a career Grand Slam at Roland Garros last year.
"I felt better than in the first round, that's exactly what I wanted," he said.
DOWN A BREAK
After dropping the opening set against Kontaveit, Muguruza was down a break in the second before coming back. Playing close to the lines, she got back into her stride and took the decider in 32 minutes on the first of two match points.
"I think she was playing so, so good for the first two sets," Muguruza said. "I was just hanging in there, being aggressive and waiting for my moment."
Earlier in the day, Petra Kvitova's first tournament since being injured in a knife attack at her home was brought to an early end.
The two-time Wimbledon champion, who was seeded 15th, lost 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) to American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Kvitova threw her racket in frustration after double-faulting on match point, but the players warmly embraced at the net.
Home favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also exited the tournament, unable to turn around a first-round match against Roland Garros debutant Renzo Olivo that had been suspended on Tuesday due to darkness.
Back on court with the 12th-seeded Tsonga trailing 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 5-4, the Frenchman lasted less than eight minutes, losing the first three points on his serve but managing to save the three match points. Olivo converted the next one with a forehand cross-court winner to prevail 6-4.