World number one Novak Djokovic kicked off his French Open campaign with a routine 6-2 6-4 6-2 win against American Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday in the first men’s match to be scheduled in a night session.
With no spectators allowed on Philippe Chatrier court due to a 9pm local curfew, the Serbian went through the gears as he dispatched his opponent seemingly effortlessly.
Djokovic, who is chasing a 19th major title and looking to narrow the gap to 20-time Grand Slam champions Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, showed some signs of frustration in the second set but world number 66 Sandgren was never close to bothering him.
The third set was a mere formality as Djokovic, who won his only Roland Garros title in 2016, won five games in a row in what resembled a training session.
He next faces Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas on his way to a potential semi-final showdown with 13-time French Open champion Nadal.
Highlights of the third day at the French Open on Tuesday (all times GMT).
2020 STEPHENS BOUNCES BACK TO DEFEAT SUAREZ NAVARRO
Sloane Stephens saved a match point at 5-4 in the second set and beat Carla Suarez Navarro 3-6 7-6(4) 6-4 in 2 hours, 24 minutes. The 28-year-old American will take on Czech ninth seed Karolina Pliskova in the next round.
Suarez Navarro returned to tennis five weeks after announcing she had recovered from cancer. The 32-year-old was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September last year.
1830 PLISKOVA PROGRESSES ALONG WITH GAUFF
Ninth seed Karolina Pliskova defeated Croatia’s Donna Vekic 7-5 6-4. Coco Gauff, who is seeded 24th this year, also advanced in straight sets, beating Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic 7-6(11) 6-4 in just over two hours.
1715 VANQUISHED VENUS FIRES PARTING SHOT AT PRESS
Venus Williams pulled no punches when asked how she handled the pressure of having to deal with the media:
“How I deal with it was that I know every single person asking me a question can’t play as well as I can and never will, so no matter what you say or what you write, you’ll never light a candle to me,” she said. “That’s how I deal with it.”
NADAL OPENS ACCOUNT WITH WIN OVER POPYRIN
Third seed Rafa Nadal kicked off his title defence with a comprehensive 6-3 6-2 7-6(3) victory over Australian Alexei Popyrin. The Spaniard sent down seven aces, hit 28 winners and made just 23 unforced errors as he claimed his 101st French Open win.
1500 MLADENOVIC DOWNS SCHMIEDLOVA
France’s Kristina Mladenovic served up a bagel en route to beating Slovakian qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-4 6-0 on Court Simonne Mathieu.
Mladenovic sent down 26 winners, but will have to improve on her 35 unforced errors if she is to equal her previous best result of reaching the quarter-finals of her home Grand Slam four years ago.
1450 SEVENTH SEED RUBLEV SUNK BY STRUFF
Russian seventh seed Andrey Rublev was upset 6-3 7-6(6) 4-6 3-6 6-4 by unseeded German Jan-Lennard Struff in the opening round. Rublev made 47 unforced errors in the 3 hour, 46 minute marathon, while Struff sent down 63 winners, including 25 aces.
1430 MONFILS BEATS RAMOS-VINOLAS
Local favourite Gael Monfils came back from a set down to beat Spain’s Albert Ramos Vinolas 1-6 7-6(6) 6-4 6-4. The Frenchman, who is seeded 14th this year, sent down 12 aces and 60 winners, but also made a whopping 75 unforced errors.
1410 KVITOVA WITHDRAWS AFTER ANKLE INJURY
Two-times Wimbledon champions Petra Kvitova withdrew from Roland Garros, after suffering a freak injury while performing her post-match media duties on Sunday.
“It’s incredibly bad luck,” Kvitova said on Twitter. “During my post-match press requirements I fell and hurt my ankle.”
1400 BARTY GRINDS OUT WIN OVER PERA
World number one Ash Barty was pushed to three sets by unseeded American Bernarda Pera, before prevailing 6-4 3-6 6-2. Pera hit 36 winners, but also made 49 unforced errors.
“I just keep fighting. I tried to stay in the match as long as possible because you never know,” Barty said.
1135 DE MINAUR ADVANCES WITH STRAIGHT SETS WIN
Alex de Minaur, the 21st seed, beat Italy’s Stefano Travaglia 6-2 6-4 7-6(4). The Australian will next take on another Italian in Marco Cecchinato, who beat Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-4.
1125 SVITOLINA SURVIVES BABEL TEST
Fifth seed Elina Svitolina found herself trailing 5-2 in the second set but recovered to beat French teenager Oceane Babel 6-2 7-5. Next up for Svitolina is a second round clash with American Ann Li, who trounced Margarita Gasparyan 6-0 6-1.
1043 SAKKARI TOO GOOD FOR QUALIFIER ZAVATSKA
Greece’s Maria Sakkari, the 17th seed, defeated Ukrainian qualifier Katarina Zavatska 6-4 6-1 to reach the second round. Jennifer Brady also advanced beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-3 while Ons Jabeur overcame Yulia Putintseva 7-5 6-2.