© Ella Ling


Notes from Roland Garros - day one


Notes from Roland Garros day 1

As is traditional, play at Roland Garros began on the first Sunday with a limited schedule.

Quick start. 2010 runner-up Sam Stosur opened proceedings on Philippe Chatrier with at times hard-fought, at others not, 6-4, 6-0 win over British No 1 Elena Baltacha.

Big wins. For Stanislas Wawrinka. The 18th seed took five sets to beat Flavio Cipolla, despite being two sets to love up. Similar stuff also from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who needed four sets to get past Andrey Kuznetsov, and Juan Martin Del Potro, who also took four to come past Albert Montanes and his heavily-strapped left knee. Sara Errani, Irina Falconi.

Bigger win. Melanie Oudin. The American, who made it into the first round courtesy of a wild card by the tips of her fingernails, blistered through her first Grand Slam win in over two years with a 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Johanna Larsson.

Cruisy. For Juan Carlos Ferrero, Fernando Verdasco, Fabio Fognini, Marin Cilic, Cedric-Marcel Stebe, Nicolas Devilder, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Angelique Kerber, Lucie Safarova, Shahar Peer,

Dark horse? Ana Ivanovic. The 2008 champion wasted no time at all winning her first-round match 6-1, 6-1 against Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino, surely the longest-name in the draw.

Long road home for. Andy Roddick. The former world No 1 was bounced in four sets by Nicolas Mahut, deserving of all the luck he can get after the events of Wimbledon 2010, and only his second win in 10 appearances at Roland Garros. Ever the quotable quote, Roddick admitted that his footwork simply isn’t good enough to play well on clay.

Longest match. Gilles Muller and Igor Sisjling (not pronounced ‘sizzling’) took three hours and 37 minutes to finish their five-setter, which finished 8-6 in the fifth in Muller’s favour.

Fashion wins. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, whose very colour-coordinated shirts, shorts and shoes won this writer’s approval. And also Venus William’s dress. White with pink and black criss-crosses.

Well deserved. Laura Robson’s place in the main draw as a lucky loser. The Brit came agonisingly close to making it on Friday, seeing two match points come and go, but, as first alternate, sneaked in as a lucky loser. It means Robson will complete the set of first round main draw Grand Slam appearances when she plays Annabel Medina-Garrigues on Monday.

Talk of the town. Olympic qualification. Time is running out.

Come back tomorrow for: Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Novak Djokovic on Chatrier, Roger Federer and Marion Bartoli on Chatrier, Feliciano Lopez and Agnieszka Radwanska on Court 1, Jelena Jankovic, Vera Zvonareva and John Isner on Court 2, Mona Barthel, Christina McHale and Tommy Haas on Court 3, Sloane Stephens on Court 5, Laura Robson, David Nalbandian and Brian Baker on Court 6, Lleyton Hewitt, Sabine Lisicki, Tomas Berdych on Court 7, Bernard Tomic on Court 16, and Milos Raonic on Court 17.