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Stephens Routs Rus in Roland Garros Opener & More WTA Results

Sloane Stephens of the USA in action against Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands during their women’s first round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 27 May 2018. EPA/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

An unbelievable seven lucky losers (and counting?) either were in or still are in the men’s singles field at the French Open: Simone Bolelli, Oscar Otte, Jurgen Zopp, Sergiy Stakhovsky, Mohamed Safwat, Peter Polansky, and Ruben Bemelmans.

 

Well, Bolelli is technically an “UNlucky Loser ” since he has to go up against 10-time champion and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the first round.

 

Safwat is already out, having lost to Grigor Dimitrov in the opening match on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

 

But let’s talk about one of the 16 players who actually earned his way into the main draw–not the seven who were handed free passes following losses in the final round of qualifying. Yes, Bernard Tomic of all people was actually one of the 16 won won three matches to surge into the field of 128. Bernard Tomic! And this isn’t even his best surface!

 

Struggling down at No. 208 in the world, the Australian defeated Darian King, Jay Clarke, and Goncalo Oliveira. But it did not exactly come entirely out of nowhere, as Tomic recently finished runner-up at a clay-court Challenger event earlier this month in Aix En Provence.

 

Now the 25-year-old aims for his first ATP-level, main-draw win of the season on Monday, and he will do so against none other than fellow Aussie Nick Kyrgios. Surprisingly, they have never faced each other at the professional level. And they could not have been expected to do so at this French Open–because not only did Tomic had to go through qualifying, but Kyrgios was in doubt even to play this tournament.

 

The world No. 23 has not played a singles match since mid-April in Houston due to yet another injury issue. He at least took the doubles court last week in Lyon and won the title alongside good friend and doubles guru Jack Sock. Kyrgios has played only two singles matches on clay this season, beating Bjorn Fratangelo in three sets before losing to Ivo Karlovic at the Houston tournament.

 

Another showdown between countrymen on Monday will feature fellow Americans Sam Querrey and Frances Tiafoe. Their only previous meeting came last fall on the hard courts of Shanghai, where Querrey got the job done 6-3, 7-6(6). Seven months later, Tiafoe is already a much different player. The 20-year-old has picked up 15 of his 24 ATP-level match victories this season, a number highlighted by his first career title in Delray Beach. Five spots off his career-high ranking at No. 61 in the world, Tiafoe reached the Estoril final and is coming off a second-round performance in Geneva (beat Ryan Harrison, fell to eventual champion Marton Fucsovics).

 

Querrey’s priority this spring seems to be his wedding (next month) instead of tennis. This has never been his favorite time of year, anyway, as the world No. 13 generally does his best work at home in the United States and on hard courts instead of clay. He has not won a tournament match since the Miami second round, with consecutive clay-court setbacks against Guido Pella, Peter Gojowyczk, and Pella again in Geneva (both losses to the Argentine came in a third-set tiebreakers).

 

Tiafoe should actually be expected to win. As for Kyrgios vs. Tomic, expect just about anything–and everything–to happen…

 

••• Krygios Pulled Out With A recurring Elbow Problem ••• replaced by 8th Lucky Loser (check new ATP Rule)

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Alize Cornet of France in action against Sara Errani of Italy during their women?s first round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 27 May 2018. EPA/CAROLINE BLUMBERG

 

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in action against Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia during their women?s first round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 27 May 2018. EPA/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

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