Tennis: Muguruza made to slog by Slovak

Garbine Muguruza had to save nine break points in the opening game of the second set against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
Garbine Muguruza had to save nine break points in the opening game of the second set against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

But Spaniard not the only one tested as rain wreaks havoc, bringing roof issue to the fore

PARIS • Spanish fourth seed Garbine Muguruza came back from a set down yesterday to defeat Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the French Open second round.

Muguruza, who has made the quarter-finals for the last two years, will take on French wildcard Myrtille Georges, the world No. 203, for a place in the last 32.

After dropping the first set, the 22-year-old Wimbledon runner-up had to save nine break points in the opening game of the second set.

She then allowed her 37th-ranked opponent, who has won just one match all year, to claw her way back from 0-4 down to 3-4 before the Spaniard settled herself to see out the win on a wet and chilly day marked by frustrating rain delays.

Meanwhile, Stan Wawrinka avoided becoming the first defending champion to lose in the first round of the French Open when he battled past combative Lukas Rosol 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.


    Men's singles, 1st rd

    Stan Wawrinka (Sui) bt Lukas Rosol (Cze) 4-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-4, Kei Nishikori (Jap) bt Simone Bolelli (Ita) 6-1 7-5 6-3, Milos Raonic (Can) bt Janko Tipsarevic (Srb) 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-5), Dusan Lajovic (Srb) bt Denis Kudla (USA) 6-4 6-3 6-3, Jeremy Chardy (Fra) bt Leonardo Mayer (Arg) 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-2, Adrian Mannarino (Fra) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (Kaz) 6-4 2-6 6-2 6-4.

    Women's singles, 1st rd

    Veronica Cepede Royg (Par) bt Sabine Lisicki (Ger) 6-2 6-2, Naomi Osaka (Jap) bt Jelena Ostapenko (Lat) 6-4 7-5, Sloane Stephens (USA) bt Margarita Gasparyan (Rus) 6-4 6-3, Barbora Strycova (Cze) bt Lucie Hradecka (Cze) 6-4 7-5, Myrtille Georges (Fra) bt Christina McHale (USA) 6-7 (7-9) 6-0 6-3, Polona Hercog (Slo) bt Lourdes Dominguez (Esp) 6-4 7-6 (7-4), Garbine Muguruza (Esp) bt Anna Schmiedlova (Svk) 3-6 6-3 6-3, Svetlana Kusnetsova (Rus) bt Y. Shvedova (Kaz) 4-6 6-1 6-4.

Third seed Wawrinka fired 56 winners but committed 46 unforced errors and saved eight break points to book a second-round clash against Japan's Taro Daniel.

After just 10 of 32 matches were completed in a little over four hours of play on Sunday, the second day was hit by another 21/2-hour delay. That in turn pushed 12 of the scheduled 66 matches back till today.

It was an acute reminder that the French Open is the only one of the four Grand Slams not to have a covered court. Both the Australian Open and Wimbledon have stadiums with roofs while the US Open's cavernous Arthur Ashe stadium will be covered for the first time this year.

French Open chief Guy Forget insisted that the showpiece Court Philippe Chatrier would have a roof by 2020, saying: "I think it's a question of respect to the crowd, to the people, to you guys from the media and the players that are waiting hours and hours in the lounges, in the locker rooms.

"We wait and wait and wait and wait. While Wimbledon, Melbourne, and New York now have the roof, you know, we'll have to wait until 2020."

The historic Roland Garros site is the smallest of the four Grand Slam venues and when it rains, it becomes very congested with thousands of fans jostling for the few areas of cover.

The planned €350 million (S$540 million) expansion of the grounds set in the leafy and plush western district of Paris has, however, hit trouble.

A new 5,000-seat stadium is planned for the neighbouring Serres d'Auteuil but work has come to a halt due to ongoing protests over the impact the work will have on the botanical gardens' historic greenhouses which date back to the 19th century.

That stadium will only be completed at 2018 at the earliest.

Forget added: "This is the perfect example of why we need to get bigger, so the stadium is not as congested as it is today. We need to modernise our facility for these reasons.

"It's an ongoing process which will take us in 2020 where hopefully everything will be done. And the roof is actually the last piece of that puzzle."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2016, with the headline 'Muguruza made to slog by Slovak'. Print Edition | Subscribe