PARIS, (Reuters) – World number one Simona Halep fought back after a slow start to beat American Alison Riske 2-6 6-1 6-1 in a rain-delayed French Open first-round match yesterday.
Riske broke Halep’s serve three times in the first set, but the Romanian found her rhythm to wrap up victory on Court Philippe Chatrier.
“I think the nerves are really good. It means that you care about what you are doing and your desire is really big,” said Halep, twice runner-up at Roland Garros.
Fourth seed Elina Svitolina advanced with a regulation 6-3 6-4 victory over Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova while twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova took just over an hour to beat Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena 6-0 6-4.
Second seed Caroline Wozniacki turned in a ruthless display to defeat big-serving Spanish qualifier Georgina Garcia Perez 6-1 6-0 in 51 minutes.
In the men’s draw, former champion Novak Djokovic was far less clinical, letting loose a number of wayward shots, but still had too much class for Spanish qualifier Jaume Munar in a 7-6(1) 6-4 6-4 win.
Djokovic will next face claycourt specialist Roberto Bautista-Agut, who beat Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo 6-4 7-5 6-3.
Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov were both stretched to five sets in their second-round victories.
Zverev, seeded second, beat world number 60 Dusan Lajovic 2-6 7-5 4-6 6-1 6-2 to claim his 32nd win of the season.
Fourth seed Dimitrov battled past American Jared Donaldson 6-7(2) 6-4 4-6 6-4 10-8 to match his best performance at Roland Garros by reaching the third round for the third time.