Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic plays a forehand during the ladies singles first round match against Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay.
Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic plays a forehand during the ladies singles first round match against Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay.

Wozniacki feeling Grand, Azarenka ousted

THE most recently minted grand slam champion in tennis has booked a second-round French Open slot as Caroline Wozniacki overcame a stuttering start to beat Danielle Collins 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 in Paris.

The Dane, who landed her first major at the Australian Open earlier this year in what was her 43rd grand slam attempt, generally prefers faster surfaces, but looked increasingly at ease once she had ironed out some early glitches. Seeded second at Roland Garros, Wozniacki is one of six players who could end the tournament as world No.1 and said having broken her grand slam duck helped her take a "much more relaxed approach" to her match.

"It feels great. A little bit less pressure," she said.

Caroline Wozniacki celebrates her win.
Caroline Wozniacki celebrates her win.


"I kind of feel like I have one grand slam now, so no matter what happens, no one can take that away from me.

"I'm just out here trying to enjoy every match and every moment of it. Sixteenth seed Elise Mertens was leading 3-0 in the final set against Victoria Lepchenko when rain stopped play, having dropped the opener in a tiebreak. The weather meant Maria Sharapova's match against Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands will be played on Tuesday.

Earlier, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic flirted with an early exit but recovered to defeat Paraguay's Veronica Cepede Royg. - AAP

KVITOVA SURVIVES FIRST ROUND SCARE

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova fought back from a set down to beat Paraguayan Veronica Cepede Royg and reach the French Open second round on Monday.

The eighth seed struggled early on Court Philippe Chatrier, but came through 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 to set up a meeting with Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena.

The 28-year-old Kvitova is one of the favourites to win a maiden Roland Garros title after winning four titles this season, including on clay in Prague and Madrid.

Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic is congratulated by Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay.
Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic is congratulated by Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay.


"I've won 12 matches straight on clay, but I'm still a long way from Rafa," she said in reference to Rafael Nadal's upcoming bid for an 11th men's singles crown.

Cepede Royg, who surprisingly reached the last 16 in Paris last year, claimed the first set courtesy of a single break of the Kvitova serve.

But the Czech roared back, racing through the second set in only half an hour, before holding her nerve in a tight decider as Cepede Royg dropped serve in the 11th game.

 

 

AZARENKA'S FRENCH OPEN RETURN ENDED BY SINIAKOVA

 

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus lost in straight sets to Katerina Siniakova.
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus lost in straight sets to Katerina Siniakova.

 

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka's return to Grand Slam tennis lasted just two sets as the Belarusian slumped to a 7-5, 7-5 loss to Katerina Siniakova in the French Open first round on Monday.

Azarenka, who missed much of last season after being embroiled in a custody battle over her son, was broken to love in the 12th games of each set to be dumped out by world number 57 Siniakova.

The two-time Australian Open champion has now won just two matches at Roland Garros in the last five years.

 

Groundstaff members pull covers across the court.
Groundstaff members pull covers across the court.

 

Czech Siniakova moves onto a second-round match with Ukraine's Kateryna Kozlova, who stunned defending champion Jelena Ostapenko on Sunday, in a part of the draw in which the only remaining seed is number 26 Barbora Strycova.

It was Azarenka's first Grand Slam match since losing to Simona Halep in the Wimbledon fourth round last

 

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