Prominent Aussies Survive French Open First Round
Barty and De Minaur advance!
Reuters: Gonzalo Fuentes
While five Aussies fell short of progressing through the first round of the French Open, top hopes Alex De Minaur and world number-one Ash Barty advanced in Paris.
De Minaur took care of his early Roland-Garross matchup in straight sets despite a third set tie-breaker.
Facing an unseeded opponent, Barty battled over the line after dropping the second set. She spoke post-match about the battle and a late medical timeout which raised concerns of an injury cloud.
“It’s going to be a little bit tough this week. I think over the weekend we had a bit of a flare-up through my left hip, which obviously just needed a bit of help today,” she said.
“I’m not going to hide behind the fact I’m not quite 100 per cent but I can guarantee that I will go out there with the right attitude every day and be really accepting of that and give it a crack no matter what.”
A disappointing finish for fellow Australian campaigners, Alexi Popyrin fell to 13-time French Open winner Rafeal Nadal, as Jordy Thompson and Chris O'Connell battled relentlessly before being overcome.
World number-43 John Millman made an unusual exit to his Grand Slam opener, withdrawing from the match due to a back injury just seconds before the scheduled start.
Out of the remaining Aussies, James Duckworth will need to get past Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis before a potential third round match-up against Novak Djokovic. On the women's side of the draw, Ajla Tomljanovic advanced to reach the second round, as did 25-year-old Astra Sharma.
Headlining the prominent Aussies on day five, De Minaur will compete against Italian player Marco Cecchinato, while Barty faces Magda Linette from Poland.
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