PARIS (AP)The Latest on the French Open tennis tournament (all times local):
Novak Djokovic says he plans to defend his title at Wimbledon this year and supports the decision by the ATP men’s tour to withhold ranking points from that tournament as a show of unity among players – even though the move will negatively affect his hold on the No. 1 spot.
Djokovic called the All England Club’s ban of players from Russia and Belarus over the invasion of Ukraine ”a mistake,” and said Wimbledon’s organizers did a poor job of communicating about the issue.
He said he thought there could have been room for a compromise but instead it is a ”lose-lose situation for everyone.”
Djokovic spoke in response to a reporter’s question after his first-round victory at the French Open on Monday night.
Novak Djokovic’s first Grand Slam match in 7 1/2 months went about as well as possible.
The No. 1-seeded Djokovic opened his title defense at the French Open with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 victory in less than two hours over Yoshihito Nishioka. He improved to 18-0 for his career in the first round at Roland Garros.
About the only uncomfortable moment for Djokovic might have been when some spectators booed after he let out some yells after winning points in the second set.
The match was played Monday night with the retractable roof at Court Philippe Chatrier shut because of rain.
Djokovic, who turned 35 on Sunday, is pursuing a third title in Paris and a 21st Grand Slam trophy overall, which would tie him with Rafael Nadal for the men’s record.
He hadn’t played in a major tournament since losing to Daniil Medvedev in the U.S. Open final last September, ending Djokovic’s bid to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam for a man since 1969.
Djokovic could not compete at the Australian Open this January because he has decided not to get vaccinated against COVID-19. There is no vaccine requirement for the French Open.
Novak Djokovic is on court in his first-round match against Yoshihito Nishioka, and that is the only contest still going at the French Open.
They are playing with the retractable roof shut at Court Philippe Chatrier because of showers Monday night.
Djokovic took the first set by a 6-3 score.
No other courts at Roland Garros have covers so 10 other matches were still in progress when they were suspended for the night because of rain and darkness. Those contests will be scheduled to resume Tuesday.
Some players who did advance before action was stopped Monday included Grand Slam champions Bianca Andreescu, Angelique Kerber and Marin Cilic.
U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu’s French Open debut was as difficult as can be for more than a set before she emerged with a 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-1 victory over Czech qualifier Linda Noskova.
The 12th-seeded Raducanu trailed by a set, then was down a break in the second set twice, before coming back to win in more than 2 1/2 hours against a player who was trying to pull off the sort of upset Raducanu did over and over again at Flushing Meadows last year.
At the U.S. Open, Raducanu was an 18-year-old participating in only her second Grand Slam tournament – and she became the first qualifier to win a major tennis trophy.
At Roland Garros on Monday, she faced the 17-year-old Noskova, who is ranked 184th and was making her Grand Slam debut after going through qualifying.
Noskova won the junior title in Paris in 2021 and was the youngest player in the women’s field this time. Had she won, she would have been the first qualifier to beat a player seeded as high as No. 12 at a major since Raducanu knocked off No. 11 Belinda Bencic at the U.S. Open.
Rafael Nadal and all of his aches and pains reached the second round of the French Open.
The 13-time champion at Roland Garros beat Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Nadal won his men’s-record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open but he has only recently returned from a rib injury that has bothered him since March.
He has also been dealing with chronic pain in his left foot. That kept him out of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year, and bothered him again during a loss on clay in Rome this month.
Nadal will next face Corentin Moutet, a French wild-card entry who beat 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka lost in the first round of the French Open to local wild-card entry Corentin Moutet.
Moutet beat the 2015 French Open champion 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Wawrinka had played only four tour-level matches this season before the French Open, winning two and losing two. He missed most of last season after having surgery on his left foot.
The 37-year-old Swiss player also won the Australian Open in 2014 and the U.S. Open in 2016.
Two former Grand Slam champions made it to the second round at the French Open.
Petra Kvitova beat Anna Bondar 7-6 (0), 6-1 in the first round at Roland Garros and Victoria Azarenka defeated Ana Bogdan 6-7 (7), 7-6 (1), 6-2.
Kvitova won the Wimbledon title twice and reached the semifinals at the French Open twice, the last time two years ago. Azarenka is a two-time Australian Open champion who reached the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2013.
Barbora Krejcikova has become only the third defending women’s champion to lose in the first round of the French Open.
Krejcikova, a Czech player who was seeded second at Roland Garros, lost to 97th-ranked Diane Parry 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.
It was Krejcikova’s first match since February because of an injured right elbow.
The only other two women to lose in the first round a year after winning the title at Roland Garros were Anastasia Myskina in 2005 and Jelena Ostapenko in 2018.
Naomi Osaka says she is ”leaning more towards not playing” at Wimbledon again because the WTA and ATP have said they will not award ranking points this year after the All England Club banned players from Russia and Belarus because of the invasion of Ukraine.
The four-time Grand Slam champion and former top-ranked player sat out Wimbledon in 2021 as part of a mental health break following her withdrawal at the French Open.
After losing in the first round at Roland Garros on Monday, Osaka said the tennis tours’ move to withhold ranking points from Wimbledon ”is kind of affecting my mentality” and she is ”not 100% sure if I’m going to go there.”
She said she is ”the type of player that gets motivated by seeing my ranking go up,” but added that she needs to think about the issue more before making a final decision and could change her mind.
Top-seeded Iga Swiatek has extended her winning streak to 29 matches by advancing to the second round of the French Open.
The Polish player, who won the French Open title in 2020, beat Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 6-0 in the first round on Court Phillipe Chatrier.
Swiatek’s winning streak is the longest by any woman since Serena Williams won 34 in a row in 2013. She has won the title at her past five tournaments.
Swiatek has also won a tour-leading 14 sets at 6-0 this season.
Naomi Osaka’s return to the French Open has ended in the first round.
The former top-ranked player lost her opening match to Amanda Anisimova 7-5, 6-4 at Roland Garros on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam champion who took two mental health breaks last season. That included one that began when she withdrew before her second-round match at the French Open.
Anisimova is a 20-year-old American who reached the French Open semifinals in 2019. She also beat Osaka in the third round at the Australian Open in January.
Osaka double-faulted twice on break point, once in each set. After the second, which gave Anisimova a 4-3 lead, Osaka took a 40-0 lead in the next game but the American held.
Osaka played with tape on her left Achilles. She was stretching it and kicking it with her right foot when she was broken in the seventh game of the second set.
Day 2 at Roland Garros offers quite a collection of big names on the schedule and quite a bit of rain in the forecast.
Naomi Osaka is getting things started at Court Suzanne Lenglen against the player who beat her at the Australian Open in January, 20-year-old American Amanda Anisimova.
Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam champion who used to be ranked No. 1 but dropped in the rankings after taking two mental health breaks last season. That included one that began when she withdrew before her second-round match at the French Open.
There will be a parade of top players at Court Philippe Chatrier, the only arena with a retractable roof at the clay-court tournament. That includes Iga Swiatek, Barbora Krejcikova, Rafael Nadal and, at night, Novak Djokovic.
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