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Thursday, October 22, 2020

French Open 2020: Serena Williams reaches second round

Serena Williams is a three-time French Open champion and is looking to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 major titles.

By: Reuters | Updated: September 29, 2020 1:31:18 pm
Petra Kvitova reacts during her first round match against France's Oceane Dodin. (Source: Reuters)

Serena Williams advanced to the second round of the French Open by beating Kristie Ahn 7-6 (2) 6-0.

The sixth-seeded Williams served for the match at 40-0 but Ahn saved three match points. An ace gave her a fourth opportunity to win but she hit a shot into the net.

Williams then saved a break point before finally beating her American opponent with an ace.

Ahn held leads of 3-1 and 4-2 in the first set.

The 39-year-old Williams is a three-time French Open champion and is looking to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 major titles. She will next face Bulgarian wild-card entry Tsvetana Pironkova.
Czech seventh seed Petra Kvitova put in a power-packed show to beat Oceane Dodin 6-3 7-5 on Monday and breeze into the second round of the French Open.

The 30-year-old twice Wimbledon champion lost only two points on serve in the opening set in her first clash with the French player, who has not got past the first round of a Grand Slam event since 2017.

Donin found her feet under the closed roof of Court Philippe Chatrier in the second set, which saw an early trade of service breaks, but Kvitova raised her game to get the break in the 11th game and close in on victory.

The Czech, who missed last year’s tournament at Roland Garros due to an arm injury, sealed victory with a forehand volley for her 30th winner and will next play either Italian Jasmine Paolini or Aliona Bolsova of Spain.

Bertens sets up second-round clash with Errani

Fifth seed Kiki Bertens recovered from a poor start against French Open debutant Katarina Zavatska to reach the second round with a 2-6 6-2 6-0 victory on Monday.

Dutchwoman Bertens was all at sea in the first set as the 20-year-old Zavatska took advantage of her errors.

Ukraine’s Zavatska needed eight set points to seal the opener but claycourt specialist Bertens, a semi-finalist here in 2016, began to shake off the rust to take the second set.

Zavatska faded in the third set and was unfortunate as she broke racket strings three times in the space of two games midway through the second set.

Bertens, who sat out the U.S. Open and retired with an Achilles injury on her return in Strasbourg last week, took full advantage and raced through the deciding set in 31 minutes.

She will play former runner-up Sara Errani in the next round after the Italian qualifier thrashed Olympic champion Monica Puig in her first Grand Slam match for two years.

Kerber loses French opener for 2nd straight year

Three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber has lost in the first round of the French Open for the second straight year.

The 18th-seeded German was beaten by 19-year-old Slovenian Kaja Juvan 6-3, 6-3.

Kerber once held the No. 1 ranking and has won every major title except the French Open. Her best performance at Roland Garros was the quarterfinals in 2012 and ’18.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova also went out. The 2009 French Open champion was beaten by Russian countrywoman Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-1.

Garbine Muguruza could have joined Kerber and Kuznetsova.

But the 2016 French Open champion held firm to beat Tamara Zidansek 7-5, 4-6, 8-6.

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