Belfast Telegraph

Delighted Watson feels she's getting into the groove

 

By Andy Sims

British No.2 Heather Watson shrugged off her recent poor form to reach the second round of the French Open.

The 26-year-old needed just over an hour to dispatch a distinctly off-colour Oceane Dodin of France 6-3 6-0.

She will face either Belgian 16th seed Elise Mertens or Varvara Lepchenko of the USA as she bids to reach the third round for the first time.

She needed five match points to get over the line but eventually wrapped up the win.

Watson said: "I started a little nervous. I was feeling really confident coming in and loosened up. I played really well.

"It was tough to close it out. You could feel the rain coming up. I was happy with my level throughout the match."

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki cruised into round two with a straight-sets win over Danielle Collins.

The Australian Open champion brushed aside her American opponent 7-6 (7/2) 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Having entered a Grand Slam for the first time since she won one, the Dane said: "It feels great. A little bit less pressure.

"I kind of feel like I have one Grand Slam now, so no matter what happens, no one can take that away from me."

Eighth seed Petra Kvitova looked to be in trouble when she dropped the first set against Paraguay's Veronica Cepede Royg.

But the two-time Wimbledon champion hauled herself level and then edged a nervous final set to win a two-hour marathon 3-6 6-1 7-5.

Meanwhile, in the mens' championship, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic made their entrances at Roland Garros but both found themselves upstaged by a lucky loser and his 88-year-old grandmother.

Argentinian Marco Trungelliti, beaten in French Open qualifying last week, was back home in Barcelona on Sunday when, after a spate of withdrawals, he got the call to replace injured Nick Kyrgios.

The 28-year-old had his family - mother Suzanna, brother Andre and grandmother Daphne - staying with him, and within five minutes Trungelliti had packed them all into his car to embark on a 10-hour drive in order to be in Paris.

It was worth the trip as Trungelliti, ranked 190th in the world, went on to beat former top-20 star Bernard Tomic to net a cool £69,000 - almost treble what he had earned over the rest of the year.

He explained: "We were at home with my family - my brother and my grandma and my mum came a week ago. Supposedly they were going to come here but then I lost, so I left.

"Then my coach told me, ask if you are going to get in or whatever. So I asked, and then somebody told me that it was the first alternate."

Trungelliti, who arrived in Paris just before midnight, was on court for an 11am start and ran out a 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4 winner - not that his grandmother was keeping score.

"She has no idea what tennis is," he added.

"She has no idea how to count it. And actually, she told me that she didn't know that it was the end of the match until everybody was clapping!"

Nadal, looking for an 11th title on the clay, was two sets to the good against Simone Bolelli but rain brought the players off.

Djokovic, the champion in 2016, eased through after a straight-sets win over Rogerio Dutra Silva, brushing aside his Brazilian opponent 6-3 6-4 6-4.

Another former Paris winner, Stan Wawrinka, bowed out after a three-and-a-half-hour marathon against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

The Swiss star, beset by knee problems and seeded a lowly 23rd, needed treatment during the first set and appeared unlikely to be able to play on.

But not only did Wawrinka continue, he went on to take a 2-1 lead only to lose a five-setter 2-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-3.

Belfast Telegraph

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