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Aryna Sabalenka, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev And More: French Open Day One – Live

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On Court 7, Shuai Zhang, the number 29 seed, has beaten Magdalena Frech 1 and 1. Which means Thanasi Kokkinakis and Dan Evans [20] are under way; it’s 2-2 in set one.

Meanwhile on Lenglen, Lestienne has drilled a backhand pass that gives him a double-break in set two! He’s having a right day out here, and leads Khachanov 6-3 4-1; Khachanoyv now has the trainer strapping up his hand.

Coming up next on Chattier: Vesely v Tsitsipas [5]

Kostyuk is a decent player too – she got to round four last term – and at 20 will get better. Her tough luck to get this draw, and Saba tells Fabrice she’s delighted and appreciates the crowd’s support. She says the win in Australia was huge for her, but she thought her first major would be Roland Garros – she’s not sure why. It meant a lot that she beat Swiatek in the Madrid final, and gave her the confidence to think she can make something happen here.

Aryna Sabalenka [2] beats Marta Kostyuk 6-3 6-2Another terrific performance from Saba, who meets Udvardy or Shymanovich next.

Sabalenka now leads Kostyuk 6-3 5-1 and looks fantastic out there. There’s was always been a touch of the Haleps about her – incredible power and hands, but not necessarily the temperament to back them up. Now, though, she’s a Grand Slam champ and no one can ever take that away from her; if it means she’s more relaxed at the business end, and it might, the rest of the field will do well to look out

On Lenglen, Lestienne is whooping it up, a delectable lob earning him a break in set two … which he consolidates. He leads Khachanov 6-3-2-1, and is looking really good. Khachanov, for his part, is infamous for his hands of stone, which is to say that when his power-game isn’t working well, he can struggle – especially on clay.

There’s loads to look forward to here. A first chance to see Tsitsipas, of course, who is still gunning for a debut major. Can he make it here? Will he ever make it? A few years ago I was certain he would, now I’m wondering whether he’s quite got the weapons, or if eventually he’ll come up against someone with bigger ones playing better.

Cornet v Giorgi should be a lot of fun, likewise Sakkari v Muchova, while Djere might give Rublev a few problems.

Show courts order of playChatrier

Kostyuk 3-6 1-3 Sabalenka [2]

Vesely v Tsitsipas [5]

Cornet v Giorgi

Mannarino v Humbert



Khachanov [11] 3-6 0-0 Lestienne

Sakkari [8] v Muchova

Djere v Rublev [7]

Collins v Pegula [3]



Goffin 3-6 1-3 Kurkacz [13]

Linette [21] v Fernandez

Cazaux v Moutet

Niemeier v Kasatkina [9]

Meantime on the men’s side, Khachanov, the number 11 seed, has lost the first set to local boy, Constant Lestienne, 6-3, while Hurkacz, 13, leads David Goffin 6-3 2-1.

On Chatrier, Sabalenka has taken the first set against Marta Kostyuk and broken at the start of the second; she lads 6-3 2-1.

Righto, here we go!

PreambleHello and welcome to Roland-Garros 2023!

There’s little better in life than continuous sport, day after day – that feeling of being into a tournament – and there are few tournaments better than this one, a festival of intensity and the gateway to summer.

We begin the women’s event with one simple question: can anyone stop Iga Swiatek? The defending champ has won here in two of the last three years and also holds the US Open title, which is to say we might be starting an epoch. She looks by far the best player on tour and at 21 still has lots of improving to do … except women’s tennis is least predictable sport on the planet, so really, who knows? Yes, she’s a strong favourite, but also, we need to see more before we can assume what she’ll do with that; she gets going tomorrow and in the meantime, Aryna Sabalenka, seeded two and a new person having finally won her first major in Melbourne, has a chance to show us how she’s feeling.

The men’s side, meanwhile, has no Rafael Nadal – champion in 14 of the last 18 years. What a ludicrous sentence that is! But he’s not here this term, meaning an opportunity for everyone else – in particular, Novak Djokovic, as if he needs such a a thing, and Carlos Alcaraz.

Djokovic is tied with Nadal on 22 Grand Slams, took the Australian Open in January, and looks for all the world like he can keep winning them until the end of time; arguably, no sportsperson has ever been harder to beat. Alcaraz, though, is on the surge, a brilliant clay-courter with a majestic all-court game; at some point, this competition will surely belong to him, and that point might just be now. This is going to be great.

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