Roland-Garros Day 1 women’s recap – Kerber exits, Osaka wins, Kvitova fights

Your guide to the biggest stories from the women’s side at 2021 Roland-Garros as the first round got under way in Paris on Sunday 30 May

Naomi Osaka-Roland-Garros_2021 JB Autissier / Panoramic

Big names winning on Sunday at Roland-Garros (1st round): Naomi Osaka (seeded No 2), Aryna Sabalenka (No 3), Petra Kvitova (No 11), Victoria Azarenka (No 14), Elena Rybakina (No 21), Madison Keys (No 23), Veronika Kudermetova (No 29), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (No 31).
Big names losing on Sunday at Roland-Garros (1st round): Angelique Kerber (seeded No 26), Clara Burel (2020 Round of 32), Elsa Jacquemot (2020 junior champion), Amanada Anisimova (2019 semi-finalist), Svetlana Kuznetsova (2009 champion).
To follow our full coverage of the 2021 French Open, please visit this page.
• To follow live results, to see the men’s draw and women’s draw, we recommend you follow the official Roland Garros website.
Tomorrow’s programme at Roland Garros is available here (and by the way, today’s schedule is here).
• All the practical information – how to watch the tournament, how to buy tickets and everything else you could possibly need to know – are hopefully in this page.

Kerber loses in the first round

Main draw action at the 2021 Roland-Garros Championships got underway on Sunday and in less than two hours, the tournament has already witnessed its first notable upset. Anhelina Kalinina, from Ukraine, stunned former world No 1 and three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-4.

The result also continued a poor run of form for the 33-year-old German, who has now dropped to 8-9 for the season with this loss. While many tennis fans may not be very familiar with Kalinina, the world No 130 from Ukraine has been on a winning streak in recent weeks.

She won two ITF titles back-to-back in April/May and then won three matches in qualifying to move into the main draw here in Paris for the first time.

Osaka wins and speaks on court

Four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka began her Roland-Garros campaign with a 6-4, 7-6(4) win over Patricia Maria Tig.

The world No 2, who has created a major stir at the event even before hitting her first ball due to her media boycott, did speak during the post-match interview on the court.

“It’s a very beautiful court,” she said of Court Philippe-Chatrier. “I’ve only played two matches here, one before the roof and one right now – hopefully I’ll keep it going. It’s a work in progress. The more I play, the better I’ll get. If I play more matches, hopefully I’ll get better.”

Kvitova saves match point

Petra Kvitova fought  to a full three sets in her first round at Roland-Garros, even saving a match point against Greet Minnen and ultimately winning 6-7(3), 7-6(5), 6-1. It was an impressive turnaround, even by the lofty standards of the relentless Czech.

Other results

  • Aryna Sabalenka (No 3) dismissed qualifier Ana Konjuh 6-4, 6-3
  • Paula Badosa (world No 33) and Danka Kovinic will meet in the second round
  • 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyunchenkova beat America’s Christina McHale, 6-4, 6-0 and will face Ajla Tomljanovic
  • Elena Rybakina (world No 21) defeated 2020 junior champion Elsa Jacquemot and will meet Nao Hibino
  • Veronika Kudermetova (No 29) knocked off Amanada Anisimova
  • Ana Bogdan won and will meet Naomi Osaka
  • Danielle Collins won and will play Anhelina Kalinina
  • Victoria Azarenka (No 14) held off 2009 Roland-Garros champion Svetlana Kuznetsova
  • Maidson Keys (No 23) wrapped up Day 1 with a three-set defeat of Oceane Dodin

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