(May 26, 2013) Twenty-five players from the United States are competing in the singles draws of Paris this fortnight at Roland Garros – 15 women and 10 men. Americans went 4-4 in Paris on the first day of the French Open.
Here is a look at how they all fared:
First Round: Serena Williams (1) (USA) def. Anna Tatishvili (GEO) 6-0, 6-1
In 2012 Serena Williams lost for the only time in the first round of a major when she fell to Virginie Razzano in Paris. Williams did not let that happen on Sunday. Her demolition of Tashvilli saw Williams win 56 of 78 points in the match and hit 8 aces.
Serena was questioned about about the surge of women from the U. S. in the main draw of Roland Garros – a total of 15.
“I think the quality over the past year has jumped tremendously with the U.S. players,” Williams said. “On the female, female U.S. players. I think last year here, outside of me, all the U.S. girls did really, really well, and I think we started to see then just so many players just popping up left and right.
“That’s 15 in the main draw? That’s pretty awesome. Yeah. So it is a lot of players, but they’re all really young. So there is still an opportunity to grow.”
Williams gets a French wild card, promising teenager Caroline Garcia next. Back in 2011, Garcia led Maria Sharapova in Paris 6-3, 4-1 before the Russian came back to win in three sets.
First round: Sam Querrey (18) (USA) def. Lukas Lacko (POL) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
The No. 1 U. S. male who is 20th in the world, has equaled his best performance at the French Open by reaching the second round. In fact, the California native won Sunday’s match on the same court where he was victorious back in 2011 – on Court 7. Querrey is 1-3 on clay coming into Paris this season.
“The clay season has been a little rough,” Querrey said to media. “Pulled out of Houston, and the Masters Series, I played well in both of them, but took two losses. And then Nice was a little disappointing.
“I just focused on my attitude out here today and played the best match I’ve played all year on any surface.”
Querrey gets Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic next in the second round. Hajek defeated American Dennis Kudla
First round: Urszula Radwanska (POL) def. Venus Williams (USA) 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-4
The three hour and 19 minute match on Sunday was Williams‘ first loss in the opening round of the French Open since 2001. She’s now lost in the first round of 2 of the last four majors. she also lost at Wimbledon. Despite the heart-breaking loss, she is not discouraged and will continue to play.
“I think that obviously it’s disappointing to lose,” Venus told media in her post-match news conference. “It’s not what anyone is going for out here. Coming out to win. I’m coming out to win my matches.
“And, you know, with what I’ve gone through, it’s not easy. But I’m strong and I’m a fighter. You know, I don’t think I’m just playing for me now. I think I’m playing for a lot of people who haven’t felt well.
“I think for me today it’s a positive to be able to play three hours. I’m constantly finding ways to get better and to feel better.
“For me, I would never give up because, you know, obviously at some point everyone has to retire. You know, that’s an asterisk, but I feel like I have to give myself a chance to continue working on feeling better. I wouldn’t just give up just because it was difficult.
“That’s not me. So my thing is that I’m going to keep ‑‑ continue trying. And, you know, I had a very challenging year last year, but I had many successes, as well.
“So I’m continuing to look forward to more successes.”
Williams is still playing in the French Open, she’s competing in doubles with her sister Serena.
First round: Viktor Trocki (SRB) def. James Blake (USA) 6-4, 6-2, 6-2
Thirty-three year-old veteran James Blake, playing for the ninth time at Roland Garros could do nothing against Troicki. The highlight of the match for Blake was a between-the-legs shot.
Blake who came into Paris with no clay court ATP tournaments under his belt, spoke about play.
“The difference between my best and now is consistency,” said Blake to media. “I’m still trying to work on it. There are days it is good. Today wasn’t one of my best days. Off days are exposed very quickly out here.”
First round: Mallory Burdette (USA) def. Donna Vekic (CRO) 6-3, 6-4
Stanford Alum Mallory Burdette was making her debut on the clay of Paris. She has seen her ranking rise from No. 142 at the beginning of 2013 to No. 80.
Burdette spoke to media about her challenges in learning to play on clay.
“It’s definitely a bit of a different game, but it’s nothing that we can’t adjust to. I can’t really speak for the other players, but it’s a bit of a challenge. You have to change up your strategy a little bit, especially if you’re a big hitter.
“It takes a little bit of effort, but it’s fun and it’s a good challenge.”
First round: Shelby Rogers (USA) def. 6-3, 6-4 Irena Pavlovic (FRA)
Playing in just her second major, Shelby Rogers made her Paris debut a winning one. Beginning the year on tour at 0-6, she earned a wild card into Roland Garros.
Rogers who turned pro in 2009, reflected on the win:
“Feels really good. My first Grand Slam main draw win. And especially against a French player. I was expecting the crowd to be against me. I was ready for a battle.”
“It was really tough for a while,” said the 188th ranked player. “I wasn’t a very happy person. But I kept grinding it out every day, and I knew something had to turn around eventually. Here I am – pretty much the highest point of my career.”
Jan Hajek(CZE) def. Denis Kudla (USA) 6-2, 5-7, 6-0, 6-4
Kudla, once the No. 3 Junior made it into the main draw as a qualifier.
Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) def. Grace Min (USA) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
The 2011 U.S. Open Girls’ champion Grace Min made it to the main draw of Roland Garros as a qualifier.
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News