Second Seed Alexander Zverev Advances Easily, David Goffin Fights From Two Sets Down At Roland Garros
(May 27, 2018) Second seed Alexander Zverev won his opening match at Roland Garros in Paris on Sunday, in a 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 thrashing of Lithuania’s Ricardas Barankis in 69 minutes. Last year the 20-year old lost in the first round of the French Open to Fernando Verdasco.
Asked about if he feels any additional pressure being seeded second, he responded: “No. It’s nice. It means that you’ve been playing well throughout the whole year, and you deserve that spot a little bit. But the seedings don’t matter. When you go out there on court, you try to win, and that’s the only thing.
“You try to beat the other guy who is on the other side, and it doesn’t matter if you’re ranked No. 2 in the world, it doesn’t matter if you’re ranked 50 or 80 in the world. The same thing goes for everybody.”
“On clay especially I have been playing well. During all the tournaments I have played on clay so far, the worst I did was semifinals of a Masters in Monaco. That’s not a bad preparation. I have won two tournaments, made the finals in Rome; again, losing to Rafa in a close match. I feel good, and today was a good start to the tournament, and I’m happy the way it’s going so far.”
Fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov found out less than an hour before his match that his opponent Viktor Troicki had with drawn and Lucky Loser had taked his place. The Bulgaria beat Mohamed Safwat 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(1) to reach the second round at Roland Garros.
“We spent a bit of time [together] when we played juniors,” said Dimitrov. “I [have] known him for quite some time. He’s a great guy.”
“After my warmup today, I just walked into the locker room, and, whoa, Viktor was, like, Hey, good luck today,” said Dimitorv. “Okay. I guess we’re going to play like that. But it is what it is. I just found out about 30, 35 minutes before I had to go out. It’s not easy, I think, when those kind of things happen, you just need to be ready. I mean, you have played many matches in the past. You kind of prepare yourself every day for different obstacles, whether it’s weather, strings, balls, opponents. You just have to be ready.
“Yeah, I just needed, like, five, ten minutes to disconnect from what I had in mind to play and what I wanted to do and kind of, you know, look at the few videos of the way he was playing. Because he already played two matches, so that’s — I mean, that gives him a bit of an advantage, regardless. So, yeah, I mean, after that, I just had to — I had to go out and do the best that I can. I think it was a good start.
Lucky Loser; Mohamed Safwat of Egypt Makes Major Tournament Debut at French Open
David Goffin the 8th seed, rallied from two sets down to beat Robin Haase 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-0 in the fading light. The Belgian won 17 of the match’s final 18 points to seal the victory.
It was a good win for the Belgian: “Obviously when you are down two sets to zero, you’re not on the right track. But I was happy to be able to overturn the situation.”
Nineteen seed Kei Nishikori played his first match at a major tournament since 2017 Wimbledon on Sunday, dismissing wild card Maxime Janvier of France7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3. Janvier, ranked at No. 307 in the world was making his not only his first major tournament appearance, but his main tour debut.
“It wasn’t easy,” said Nishikori. “He was playing pretty good tennis. I didn’t know him, so I checked a little bit, but I kind of have to check in the match. He was playing very aggressive. I think I never seen how aggressive, how aggressive he plays. But I think I was able to get important points, like
tiebreak in the first game of the second set.
“I think I was little lucky to finish in three sets, because he was playing pretty good.
Top Frenchman Lucas Pouille, seeded 15th, ran through Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Twenty-sixth seeded Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina saved nine of 10 break points to take out American qualifier Denis Kudla 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.
2008 semifinalist and No. 32 seed Gael Monfils overcame a bad statrt to beat French teen Elliot Benchetrit 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1. “The first round at Roland Garros is never easy,” said Monfils. “But when you’re playing against a young player, I always look at things in a different way, because he’s never played a best-of-five sets match.”
In a battle between the oldest and youngest players of the men’s draw, the youngster prevailed. French wild card 19-year-old Corentin Moutet defeated 39-year-old veteran Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (7), 6-2, 7-6 (5).