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The Parisian Grand Slam tournament opened on Sunday. World number 2 Naomi Osaka opened the main court with a victory while France’s Clara Burel and Gilles Simon were told to exit in the first round. Non-exhaustive summary of the start of the tournament.
For the kick-off of Roland-Garros, the public was there … and the sun too. Like all opening days, this Sunday, May 30 was rich in firsts. Overview.
• The first match on Philippe-Chartier court: Osaka launches its tournament
The world number 2, Naomi Osaka, had the honor to inaugurate the 2021 edition of Roland-Garros on the Philippe-Chartier court. In power but by committing a lot of unforced errors, she dismissed Patricia Maria Tig (63e) in two sets, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), and in 1 h 47.
“I hope the more I play, the better I will be on clay, I’m working on it,” she said briefly before leaving the court.
She announced that despite the fines, she would not go to press conferences at Roland Garros citing the concern to preserve her mental health. The organizers fined him $ 15,000 for refusing to attend the one who should have watched his first match and threatened him with exclusion if she persisted.
• The first surprise: Kerber bows entry
Angelique Kerber, 27e world, was swept in the first round by the Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina, 139e and after qualifying, in two sets (6-2, 6-4) and in 1 h 26. The 33-year-old German, twice quarter-finalist in Paris (2012 and 2018) and triple winner in the Grand Slam (Australia and US Open 2016, Wimbledon 2018), was down 5-0 in each of the two sets. In the second, she saved a first match point before losing to the next.
She failed for the third time in a row as soon as she entered the French Open. She had also lost entry to the Australian Open at the start of the season.
• The first Frenchwoman eliminated: Clara Burel will not be a sensation again
Last fall, Clara Burel had been one of the two French sensations with Hugo Gaston. For her very first participation in the Parisian Grand Slam, she managed to climb to the third round. La Rennaise will not do it again this year. She fails against Montenegrin Danka Kovinic (62e) in two sets (6-3, 7-6), failing to win the deciding game of the second set.
• The first Frenchman eliminated: Barrère breaks his teeth on Fognini
Despite a start to the match in his favor, the Frenchman Grégoire Barrère (122e) was quickly extinguished by the Italian Fabio Fognini (29e) in three sets, 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.
Grégoire Barrère, 27 and invited by the organizers, led 4 games to 2, and even got a 5-2 ball in the first set. At this point in the match, Fognini had already committed about fifteen unforced errors. However, the Italian then got on the move and won sixteen of the following 21 games.
• The first French qualified: Enzo Couacaud sets fire to court n ° 9
We could only hear court n ° 9 at the start of the day. Enzo Couacaud, 177e world and beneficiary of an invitation, won his first victory on the main circuit by dismissing the Belarusian Egor Gerasimov (78e) in three innings, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 6-3. The 26-year-old Frenchman concluded with an ace, but he will have much more to do in the second round against Pablo Carreno (12e).
“I had the chance to start well right away and to be in my game, to be efficient. It was really a great moment of happiness,” said the 26-year-old Frenchman with a smile. “It was fantastic, to play again in front of an audience, it had been lacking … A unique atmosphere, great. The first points, I had chills everywhere. The singing, the screams, it was great.”
First French victory 🇫🇷
Enzo Couacaud @lacouac advance to the second round of Roland-Garros for the very first time, thanks to a victory over Egor Gerasimov 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-3 in front of an enchanted audience.#Roland Garros pic.twitter.com/4IXOBB0H8U
– Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 30, 2021
• The first “musketeer” eliminated: Gilles Simon defeated by Marton Fucsovics
The golden generation made up of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (35), Gilles Simon (36), Richard Gasquet (34) and Gaël Monfils (34), nicknamed “the four musketeers”, now seem closer to the end than at the start of their careers. The 2021 edition of Roland-Garros could mark their last joint appearance in the tournament.
Throughout their extraordinary careers, the French public has always supported the four men. This support was not lacking on Sunday for Gilles Simon, the first of the four to enter the running. His match against Marton Fucsovics was punctuated by applause and chants of “Gillou! Gillou!” to encourage him to surpass himself.
Gilles Simon showing himself catchy in the first set concluded by a 6-4, the spectators believed for a long time that their hero could turn the tide. But he sank in the second (6-1). Resistant, he managed to push the third set to the decisive game, which he lost (7-5) despite his opponent’s cramps.