Serena Williams gets back to business at French Open
29 May, 2018, 17:10 | Author: Lora Ball
With only two tournament appearances this year, Williams is ranked 453rd, and she pulled out of the clay court lead-up events in Madrid and Rome.
Canadian teen Denis Shapovalov's first Grand Slam match as a seeded player went about as smoothly as could be - a straight-set victory at the French Open.
Should she get through the first couple of rounds, Serena appears to have been handed a good draw, although may have a potential last-16 clash with Kristyna Pliskova's sister and sixth seed Karolina, who reached the semi-finals a year ago.
Canada's Denis Shapovalov celebrates winning against John Millman of Australia during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, May 29, 2018.
Next for Shapovalov is a matchup against 70th-ranked Maximilian Marterer of Germany, a 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 victor against Ryan Harrison of the U.S. Without a top seeding, the 23-time Grand Slam champion risks facing highly ranked players in the early rounds - meaning there's a greater chance she could lose early on in the competition. After all, she had lost 6-1, 6-0 against Barbora Strycova in Eastbourne a year ago in her final warmup tournament before Wimbledon, then won the title at the All England Club.
After beating Williams in the 2016 final, Muguruza's title defense was ended in the fourth round previous year by local favorite Kristina Mladenovic of France in front of a partisan crowd at Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Also in the women's first round, 2016 victor Garbine Muguruza plays another former French Open champion, Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won in 2009.
"That's the thing: I don't know what to expect because she didn't play that many matches", Pliskova said of Williams.
Third-seeded Marin Cilic and James Duckworth played for a little more than one hour on Court Philippe Chatrier before they were sent back to the locker room by tournament officials.
"This year we saw Caroline Wozniacki break through at the Australian Open which was her first grand slam".
After the news broke that former number 1 Serena Williams would have to compete in the French Open but as an unseeded challenger, many were infuriated by the decision calling it unjust and unfair to women. Proof to that, she was unaware of her first-round opponent until a reporter asked her a question about what it felt to be up against former French Open victor Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round.
Top-ranked Simona Halep will open against Alison Riske, and defending champion Jelena Ostapenko will take on Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine.
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