AP Photo/Christophe Ena
The first full day of action at Roland Garros featured its fair share of surprises as top seeds and big names struggled in Round 1.
Dominic Thiem saw his 2021 French Open dreams come to an early end as the No. 4 seed in the men’s draw suffered a first-round loss to Pablo Andujar. Grigor Dimitrov, Angelique Kerber and Daniel Evans were among the others eliminated in the first round.
It raises the drama even before bigger stars like Serena Williams and Roger Federer begin their tournament Monday.
Here is the latest from Sunday’s action in Paris.
Pablo Andujar def. No. 4 Dominic Thiem, 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
No. 6 Alexander Zverev vs. Oscar Otte, 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-0
No. 11 Roberto Bautista Agut def. Mario Vilella Martinez, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
No. 12 Pablo Carreno Busta def. Norbert Gombos, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
Marcos Giron def. No. 16 Grigor Dimitrov, 2-6, 4-6, 7-5, 3-0 ret.
No. 23 Karen Khachanov def. Jiri Vesely, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3
Miomir Kecmanovic def. No. 25 Daniel Evans, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4
No. 27 Fabio Fognini def. Gregoire Barrere, 6-4, 6-1, 6-4
Kei Nishikori vs. Alessandro Giannessi, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Jeremy Chardy
No. 2 Naomi Osaka def. Patricia Maria Tig, 6-4, 7-6 (4)
No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka def. Ana Konjuh, 6-4, 6-3
No. 12 Petra Kvitova def. Greet Minnen, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-1
No. 15 Victoria Azarenka def. Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
Anhelina Kalinina def. No. 26 Angelique Kerber, 6-2, 6-4
No. 21 Elena Rybakina def. Elsa Jacquemot, 6-4, 6-1
No. 29 Polina Kudermetova def. Amanda Anisimova, 7-6 (5), 6-1
No. 33 Paula Badosa def. Lauren Davis, 6-2, 7-6( 3)
No. 23 Madison Keys vs. Oceane Dodin
Full list of results available at RolandGarros.com.
Dominic Thiem entered this tournament as a top contender to make a deep run after reaching the finals in both 2018 and 2019. That won’t happen this time after a disappointing early loss to Pablo Andujar.
Thiem won the first two sets, although even those weren’t easy with long rallies that took a toll on both players.
Andujar also did a good job of keeping himself alive in games, saving 13 of 19 break points in the match. He kept himself alive long enough to take advantage of Thiem’s mistakes, especially taking advantage on the second serve.
It resulted in a shocking win for the veteran:
William Hill @WilliamHill
Pablo Andujar last progressed from the first round of #RolandGarros in 2015:
2016: Failed to qualify
2017: Failed to qualify
2018: 1st round exit
2019: 1st round exit
2020: 1st round exit
The Spaniard has just beaten world number 4, Dominic Thiem, in a five-set thriller. pic.twitter.com/H7EK6jvkWM
Thiem’s loss now creates a wide-open bottom half of the men’s draw with zero past Grand Slam winners.
Grigor Dimitrov was also eliminated after retiring in the fourth set, a stunning turn of events after winning the first two. Marcos Giron won a competitive third set before taking over against the No. 16 seed, who was clearly less than 100 percent.
Alexander Zverev had a nearly opposite showing, losing his first two sets to Oscar Otte before storming back for a come-from-behind victory.
Otte went 4-of-5 on break points in the first two sets on his way to an apparent upset but finished just 0-of-1 on these chances the rest of the way. Zverev refocused on the serve and was nearly unstoppable over the final three sets for the win.
It was a busy day for Naomi Osaka, who was fined $15,000 for her decision not to take part in interviews during the tournament.
This didn’t seem to slow her down on the court as Osaka cruised to a two-set victory over Patricia Maria Tig. The No. 2 seed excelled with her first serve, winning 31 of 35 points, while also going 13-of-16 at the net.
The Japanese star appears poised for a deep run at this event.
No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka also lived up to expectations with a strong showing against Ana Konjuh.
Sabalenka had 31 unforced errors and seven double-faults, but she kept the pressure on her opponent with solid shots to pull out the straight-set victory.
Victoria Azarenka had a little more trouble against Svetlana Kuznetsova, who forced a decisive third set against the former No. 1. The two combined for zero aces and 14 double-faults, but it was Azarenka who came through with better effort defensively to come away with the hard-fought victory in the first round.