Opening day at the 2023 French Open saw one top 10 seed fall as Maria Sakkari suffered her second straight loss at the French Open to Karolina Muchova who took it 7-6(5), 7-5 in the match of the day on the women’s side.
Sakkari, a former French Open semifinalist, lost to Muchova in the second round last year. She suffers her first opening round exit in Paris since 2017,and first at any Slam since the 2021 Australian.
The 8th seed is also the first Top 10 seed eliminated in either draw.
“I had a great run in Rome, so that for sure boosts my confidence a little bit on clay,” Muchova said. “I felt great in the practices as well.
“I got some matches under the belt, so that helps. I felt pretty confident. Obviously I knew I have a tough draw, and it’s going to be a tough match, and it was. I’m just, again, glad that I finished it in two.”
Chatrier opened with world No. 2 and Australian Open winner Aryna Sabalenka going down a break 3-2 in the first before rolling Marta Kostyuk 6-3, 6-2. After the win, the Ukrainian Kostyuk continued her custom of not shaking hands with Belarussian or Russian opponents, and that act drew boos from fans.
“I want to see people react to it in ten years, they will not feel really nice about what they did,” Kostyuk said of the booing.
She then took aim at Sabalenka.
“She never says that she personally doesn’t support this war,” Kostyuk said.
Sabalenka responded, “How can we support the war? Nobody, normal people will never support it.
“Why do we have to go loud and say that? If it could affect anyhow the war, if it could like stop it, we would do it. But unfortunately, it’s not in our hands.”
In the evening, No. 3 seed Jessica Pegula her fifth straight over countrywoman Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-2.
Other top results saw the 9th-seeded Daria Kasatkina, who made the semifinals last year, move past Germany’s Jule Niemeier 6-3, 6-4. The 15th-seeded Liudmila Samsonova hammered 21-year-old American Katie Volynets 6-0, 6-1. Leylah Fernandez knocked out Australian Open semifinalist and No. 21 seed Magda Linette in three sets 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
No. 19 Qinwen Zheng had an easy victory over former semifinalist Tamara Zidansek 6-3, 6-1. No. 24 seed Anastasia Potapova rolled Taylor Townsend in straights 6-1, 6-2. Camila Giorgi eliminated 33-year-old Alize Cornet in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.
Tomorrow, French No. 1 Caroline Garcia debuts against the dangerous Xiyu Wang.
Former semifinalist Petra Kvitova gets Elisabetta Cocciaretto, No. 11 Veronika Kudermetova takes on Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, No. 12 Belinda Bencic returns to action against Elina Avanesyan and in the opener No. 16 Karolina Pliskova locks up with former finalist Sloane Stephens.
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