It's French Open time! Round 1 started on Sunday, and there were a number of upsets in the women's top 10. What happened with other top seeds like Carlos Alcaraz and Maria Sakkari? We've got all the info you need right here.
No. 6 Alcaraz wins sharp battle against Londero
Carlos Alcaraz, the teenage phenom who has set the world of men's tennis ablaze, is on to Round 2 at Roland Garros. He defeated Juan Londero 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 in under two hours, though the match didn't get off to an easy start for him. Londero came out swinging, sending blazing returns to Alcaraz that he couldn't always handle. He stayed right with Alcaraz through most of the first set, but once he lost that set, he just wasn't able to maintain that pace. Alcaraz turned the knob all the way up, and though Londero kept on fighting with grit and determination, it's hard to beat a 19-year-old in peak physical condition.
Gauff onto Round 2 after victory, coaching warning
Coco Gauff barely survived her first set against qualifier Rebecca Marino, but completely overpowered her in the second set to win 7-5, 6-0. Despite that close first set, most of the drama came in the second set when umpire Marijana Veljovic gave Gauff a soft warning for coaching, saying that her coach (who is Gauff's father) needed to stop sending her hand signals. Gauff was visibly puzzled over the warning, and went over to Veljovic to try and explain that her father only claps and never sends signals, so she didn't know what to tell him to stop doing. The warning stood, but Gauff handled the conversation with patience, grace and absolute calm.
No. 4 Sakkari, No. 3 Zverev cruise to easy wins
Despite a morning of surprising upsets and edge-of-your-seat comebacks, there was very little drama from top-five players Maria Sakkari and Alexander Zverev. Both had no trouble dispatching their opponents to glide into the second round. Sakkari defeated unseeded player Clara Burel 6-2, 6-3 in 88 minutes, and Zverev handled qualifier Sebastian Ofner in under two hours, defeating him 6-2, 6-4, 6-4. Despite the close score, Zverev never lost control of the match, and never seemed in real danger of losing.
No. 9 Auger-Aliassime scores comeback win over Varillas
It was touch and go for a while, but 21-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime managed to pull out a come-from-behind win over Juan Pablo Varillas, winning 2-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in 3 hours and 14 minutes. In the first two sets, Varillas, a Peruvian making his French Open debut, simply outpaced Auger-Aliassime, who looked uncharacteristically slow and prone to mistakes. Varillas played so well throughout the match, but couldn't keep up that dominant pace. Auger-Aliassime roared back in the must-win third set, and came back from two sets down to move on to the second round.
No. 6 Jabeur upset by unseeded Linette
Ons Jabeur's French Open ended much earlier than she had anticipated. Seeded sixth, she unexpectedly lost to Magda Linette, who is unseeded at Roland Garros. Over a 2-hour, 28-minute match, Linette defeated Jabeur 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-5. It was a tight match, with Jabeur cruising in the first set only to lose the second set in a tiebreak and drop the deciding third set. Jabeur's loss was less about her making mistakes and more about Linette having a determined mindset and playing with strength and power. In the end, Linette simply outplayed Jabeur.
Kanepi ousts No. 10 Muguruza
Another women's top ten seed fell on Sunday when No. 10 Garbine Muguruza fell to Kaia Kanepi. The unseeded Kanepi ousted Muguruza 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a shade over two hours. Kanepi isn't just unseeded at Roland Garros, she's ranked No. 46 in the world. But beating seeded opponents at Grand Slams isn't new for Kanepi. Sunday's win over Muguruza was her 14th defeat of a top-20 player in the first three rounds of a Grand Slam. At this point, if a seeded player has to face Kanepi in the first three rounds, they should feel very, very nervous.
It's a cliché at Slams at this point:
Kaia Kanepi, who has barely spent time in the top 20 herself, gets her *FOURTEENTH* career Slam win over a top-20 opponent, beating #10 Garbine Muguruza 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 at #RolandGarros
Here's a look back at the previous #KaiaKanepiKabooms: pic.twitter.com/1O22UGhp29
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) May 22, 2022
Other notable matches
The ageless John Isner, who is one of seven American men seeded in the top 32 at Roland Garros (though none are in the top 10), survived three tiebreaks to take a four-setter against France's Quentin Halys. The 37-year-old Isner won the 3-hour, 20-minute match 7-6(3), 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(6).
Dominic Thiem, who was once a top-three player in the world, lost to Hugo Dellien. Thiem, who is now ranked 194 by the ATP, had been out for a time due to an injury, but has had no success lately. He's yet to win a match in 2022. He says he's healthy, though admitted that he's struggling with nerves and may go back to the Challenger level to figure things out.
American Sloane Stephens, a perennial threat to make a deep run at any Grand Slam, aced her first round match against Jule Niemeier 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 and will move on to Round 2.