Few worries for Wozniacki but Azarenka bows out
Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova were among the first-round winners at the French Open on Monday, although Victoria Azarenka fell at the opening hurdle.
Australian Open champion Wozniacki overcame a nervy start to defeat Danielle Collins 7-6 (7-2) 6-1, while Kvitova was forced to come from behind as she saw off Veronica Cepede Royg 3-6 6-1 7-5.
Azarenka could not join them in round two, however, as the former world number one and two-time Australian Open winner went down 7-5 7-5 to Katerina Siniakova.
Second seed Wozniacki is through to face Georgina Garcia-Perez, who ousted Dalila Jakupovic in straight sets, while Kvitova's next challenge takes the form of Lara Arruabarrena, conqueror of Timea Babos.
Rain late on Monday meant two-time champion Maria Sharapova's match with Richel Hogenkamp was postponed until the following day, when Serena Williams will make her grand slam return against Kristyna Pliskova.
Massive Day 3 set @rolandgarros, with Serena Williams making her return to Grand Slam play on Court Philippe Chatrier, third match on.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 28, 2018
Halep-Riske also on PC, Sharapova-Hogenkamp, Garcia-Duan on SL, Muguruza-Kuznetsova, Goerges-Cibulkova on Court 1. #RG18 pic.twitter.com/VPHCeMKNTr
KVITOVA SEEKING AN EVEN KEEL
Eighth seed Kvitova arrived at Roland Garros in fine form, having claimed clay-court titles in Prague and Madrid in the lead-up to the tournament. But, after disappointing early-season results, the Czech is targeting a greater level of consistency - and some rest - as she bids to go deep in Paris.
"I'm trying, but as we see my tournaments this year, it was second round in Sydney, first round in Melbourne, and obviously I won two tournaments, and in USA it wasn't really great either," she said. "It was very high or very low. But I'm trying on the consistency, for sure. It's just a bit tough.
"I need a good sleep. That's what I really need. I need to eat well, as well, obviously, to have some more energy back to my body, to rest a little bit better."
WOZNIACKI SYMPATHETIC TOWARDS KARIUS
Victory for Wozniacki came two days after she saw her club Liverpool defeated 3-1 by Real Madrid in the Champions League final. Reds' goalkeeper Loris Karius attracted widespread criticism for his part in two of Madrid's goals, but Wozniacki had some kind words for the young German in her post-match media conference.
"I mean, I think it's very difficult, you know," she said. "For sure for him it's a very difficult situation. You never know if he gets another chance at a Champions League final.
"So I imagine he isn't feeling very good right now. All you can do is give him a pat on the shoulder and try and cheer him up, because I'm sure he's feeling terrible himself right now. I think all you can do is try and make him feel a little bit better."
POSITIVE PREPARATION DOESN'T PAN OUT FOR AZARENKA
While Azarenka has been involved in a draining custody battle for her son Leo, the Belarusian felt her build-up to Roland Garros had been good. So, her disappointment was even more sharply felt as she suffered a first-round exit.
"I had some good practice days finally after Rome, but it didn't come out on the court today," said Azarenka. "Obviously, losing a first round is very disappointing. Even though I'm doing good things in practice, I am not able to transfer it to the match.
"I really need to kind of take a look of what I can do better. This French Open is done and it's very disappointing, but I can have some time to prepare now and take another two weeks to do a little bit of more, pre-season training which I really, really need."