Top seed Iga Swiatek launched the defence of her French Open crown on Tuesday evening with an inconsistent performance against Cristina Bucsa from Spain.
Swiatek, seeking to become only the sixth woman to defend her title in Paris since the French Open allowed professionals to compete in 1968, lost her initial service games.
Fortunately for the world number one, Bucsa, ranked 69 places below her, was equally muinificent.
The nerves continued for the tournament favourite into the business end of the set. The 21-year-old Pole had to fight off a break point before edging to 5-4.
Bucsa faltered again and Swiatek wrapped up the set after 51 minutes when the Spaniard’s forehand flew wide.
In comparison with the gruel of the opener, Swiatek was a free-flowing force of nature in the second set.
She unleashed winners to all angles of the court and swept through it 6-0 in 22 minutes.
“It’s always difficult in the first round,”
“I needed to adjust to the court and I’m glad I broke through the problems in the second set.“She said after the win.
Elsewhere in the women’s draw, last year’s beaten finalist Coco Gauff advanced to the second round. She recovered from the loss of the first set to see off Rebeka Masarova from Spain 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
The 2021 champion Barbora Krejcikova went down in straight sets to Lesia Tsurenko from Ukraine.
“I’m very happy with my win,”
“It was a very tough draw for me because she’s a great clay court player. So I’m really happy that I was able to play aggressively and to play with character and fight for every point.”Said the 34-year-old after the straight sets defeat over the Czech.
There was a shock in the men’s draw. Second seed Daniil Medvedev lost in five sets to the Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild. The 23-year-old took four hours and 15 minutes to complete the most spectacular victory of his career and advance to the second round at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.
Fourth seed Casper Ruud advanced likewise the sixth seed Holger Rune.