Roland-Garros: Eighth seed Sakkari biggest upset on day one of women’s singles
Maria Sakkari crashed out of Roland-Garros 7-6 (5), 7-5 on Sunday against Karolina Muchova, while other seeds Sabalenka, Pegula and Kasatkina progressed with ease
Czech Karolina Muchova advanced to the second round of the French Open by defeating Greek Maria Sakkari, the No 8 seed, 7-6 (5), 7-5 at Stade Roland-Garros in Paris on Sunday.
The result marked Roland-Garros biggest day one upset on the women’s draw, with no other top 10 seeds falling in either the men’s or women’s draws. It is also the second consecutive year that Sakkari has exited Roland-Garros at the hands of Karolina Muchova, with a similar scoreline taking place in the second round in 2022, as Muchova triumphed in two tiebreak sets then.
The Czech adopted a similar gameplan to last year, taking Sakkari out of her rhythm with aggressive tennis.
“I knew what to expect from her,” said Muchova. “We played last year I think twice on the clay. Actually, I rewatched some matches, and I just stuck to the plan to be aggressive, mix it up with slices, drop shots, yeah, to get her out of the rhythm.”
Sakkari joins Magda Linette (21) and Zhang Shuai (29) as the only other women’s seeds to crash out on the first day of main draw competition. Linette fell at the hands of Canada’s Leylah Fernandez 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, while Zhang Shuai was comprehensively defeated 6-1, 6-1 by Poland’s Magdalena Frech.
Samsonova, Pegula and Sabalenka untroubled on day one
While Maria Sakkari was unable to navigate the perils of Roland-Garros day one, the other big seeds in the women’s draw had no such issues.
Aryna Sabalenka defeated Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk in a little over an hour, for a scoreline of 6-3, 6-2. While the tennis was one-sides, Kostyuk did not hold back in her post-match press conference, criticising Sabalenka for not speaking out against the war in Ukraine.
No 3 and No 9 seeds Jessica Pegula and Daria Kasatkina also produced straight-forward two set wins in their first round performances, with Pegula defeating Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-3 and Kasatkina beating Jule Niemeier 6-3, 6-4.
The most impressive display of tennis was put on by No 15 seed Liudmila Samsonova against American Katie Volynets, however. For the loss of just one game, Samsonova powered to the second round 6-0, 6-1.
Roland-Garros day one results: Women’s singles
Here’s an overview of all the results from day one of Roland-Garros 2023, with the women’s first round action taking place:
- Liudmila Samsonova (15) beat Katie Volynets: 6-0, 6-1
- Irina-Camelia Begu (27) beat Anna Bondar: 6-4, 6-2
- Mayar Sherif beat Madison Brengle: 6-3, 6-1
- Sara Errani beat Jil Teichmann: 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
- Anastasia Potapova (24) beat Taylor Townsend (Q): 6-1, 6-2
- Clara Tauson (Q) beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich: 6-2, 6-0
- Qinwen Zheng (19) beat Tamara Zidansek (Q): 6-3, 6-1
- Camila Giorgi beat Alize Cornet: 6-3, 6-4
- Leolia Jeanjean (WC) beat Kimberly Birrell (WC): 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3
- Karolina Muchova beat Maria Sakkari (8): 7-6 (5), 7-5
- Leylah Fernandez beat Magda Linette (21): 6-3, 1-6, 6-3
- Elise Mertens (28) beat Viktoria Hruncakova (LL): 6-1, 6-4
- Kamilla Rakhimova beat Sara Bejlek (Q): 6-0, 6-3
- Aryna Sabalenka (2) beat Marta Kostyuk: 6-3, 6-2
- Iryna Shymanovich (Q) beat Panna Udvardy: 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1
- Magdalena Frech beat Shuai Zhang (29): 6-1, 6-1
- Storm Hunter (Q) beat Nuria Parrizas Diaz: 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
- Nadia Podoroska beat Jessika Ponchet (WC): 6-0, 6-2