PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the French Open (all times local):
Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty overcame a strong challenge from American Bernarda Pera to win her first match at Roland Garros since she claimed the 2019 French Open title.
Barty played with her left thigh bandaged and struggled before getting medical treatment at the start of the deciding set. Barty improved and eventually made the most of Pera’s lack of consistency to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
“I just keep fighting, I just keep trying,” Barty said.
Barty won in Paris two years ago and decided not to defend her title last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The first-round match between Ashleigh Barty and Bernarda Pera at the French Open has been stopped so the top-ranked Australian can receive medical treatment.
On her return to Roland Garros two years after she claimed the title in Paris, Barty played with her left thigh bandaged and struggled in her movement. She called a physio on court after her American opponent leveled at one-set apiece.
Barty played 13 matches on clay in the build-up to the French Open, winning 11. But she was forced to retire in the quarterfinals in Rome because of an injury to her right arm.
Teenage wild card Oceane Babel’s inexperience was too much for her to overcome on her Roland Garros debut.
Facing fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina, the 17-year-old from France led 5-2 in the second set but eventually lost 6-2, 7-5 on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Babel had not played a WTA-level match before. Svitolina said it was also challenging for her since she did not know anything about Babel.
“I just knew she was left-handed and I have to be ready for anything,” she said.
Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady breezed past Anastasija Sevastova to reach the second round and match her best performance at the French Open.
The 13th-seeded American, who has never reached the third round at Roland Garros, won 6-3, 6-3 after breaking Sevastova at love in the final game.
Brady is not a clay specialist. She played only one tournament on the surface last year, losing her opening match at Roland Garros. She achieved her best result on clay earlier this season when she made it to the third round in Madrid in the buildup to the French Open.
Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty returns to Court Philippe Chatrier to play her first match since she won the title at Roland Garros two years ago.
Barty decided not to defend her title in Paris last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The right-handed Australian will start her campaign against Bernarda Pera of the United States.
Play conditions in Paris are excellent, with hot and dry weather expected to last throughout Day 3.
In the men’s draw, 13-time champion Rafael Nadal will start his bid for a record 21st major title against Alexei Popyrin. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who lost to Nadal in last year’s final, will be up against Tennys Sandgren in the night session.
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