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Osaka, Zverev and Del Potro react on time at Roland Garros

Osaka, Zverev and Del Potro react on time at Roland Garros

Roland Garros was close to experiencing several earthquakes, but both the Japanese Naomi Osaka, world number 1, as the German Alexander Zverev (5th) and the Argentine Juan Martín Del Potro (9th) reacted on time, went back and sealed their ticket to the second round .

Del Potro did not find himself in an extreme situation, but began losing in his match against the Chilean Nicolás Jarry (58th), who ended up winning 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 and 6-4.

«The start was a bit slow for me, low on energy, a product of not knowing his game and never having faced him before. Also due to the conditions of the day and the field. That lasted me a set. It is not good to start like this, I have to improve that for the next round, “said the ‘Torre de Tandil’.

The Argentine, twice semi-finalist at Roland Garros (2009 and 2018), is one of the unknowns of this edition, since he has hardly played since his kneecap injury in Shanghai in October.

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He did an unsatisfactory test in February at Delray Beach and reappeared on clay in May in Madrid, where he lost in the first round.

A week later he reached the quarter-finals in Rome, where he almost eliminated world number 1 Novak Djokovic, reinforcing his confidence ahead of this Roland Garros.

More dramatic was the classification for Alexander Zverev, closer to disaster.

Zverev had to invest more than 4 hours to beat Australian John Millman (56th) in five sets, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 2-6, 6-7 (5/7) and 6- 3.

The German player, a quarter-finalist last year in Paris, will face Swedish Mikael Ymer (148th) in the second round.

His season is being very disappointing, although he arrives in Paris after his title last weekend in Geneva.

They all say I have a bad year. I tell them that I am still number 5 in the world. And do you know where I am in the Race (qualifying for the Masters at the end of the year)? I’m in the Top 10. So it’s not so bad, “he said at a press conference after his long-suffering debut in Paris.

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In the rest of the men’s games there were no surprises and the favorites complied.

The Italian Fabio Fognini (12th) and the Spanish Roberto Bautista (21st) settled their debut matches.

The day also brought the curiosity of the duel between two of the great veterans of the circuit, who add 77 years between the two: the Croatian Ivo Karlovic (94º), 40 years old, eliminated the Spanish Feliciano López (108º), 37, by 7-6 (7/4), 7-5, 6-7 (7/9) and 7-5.

– Limit situation –

In the women’s draw, the Japanese Naomi Osaka, the number 1 in the ranking, trembled before she could beat the Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (90th) by 0-6, 7-6 (7/4) and 6-1.

In the second set, Osaka was about to be eliminated, when Schmiedlova served twice to win the match, but both times the Japanese managed to save the situation and finally force the ‘tie-break’, where she was superior.

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Schmiedlova was two games within two points of winning.

In the third set, Osaka, grown mentally, had a less bumpy course and was cited in the second round against the former Belarusian world number 1 Victoria Azarenka (43rd), who knocked down the Latvian Jelena Ostapenko (39th), champion of Roland Garros in 2017 and that he has not won a match in the tournament since his title, since last year he also lost in the first round.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous in my entire life during a match,” Osaka admitted after her victory.

Their match on center court preceded the entry into the fray of the reigning champion of the women’s tournament, the Romanian Simona Halep (3rd), who beat the Australian Alja Tomljanovic (47th) by 6-2, 3-6 and 6- 1, losing a set.

On Wednesday, Roland Garros will experience the first matches of the second round, with the participation of Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Diego Schwartzman, Karolina Pliskova and Garbiñe Muguruza, among others. afp

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