French Open: Alexander Zverev crashes out

The Rome Masters winner lost to Fernando Verdasco in the first round 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Australian Nick Kyrgios shrugged off injury concerns and kept his emotions in check to outclass Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-6, 6-3, while Del Potro secured a comfortable 6-2 6-1 6-4 victory over Guido Pella.

Germany's Alexander Zverev reacts after breaking his racket during his first round match against Spain's Fernando Verdasco.   -  Reuters


Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco stunned ninth seed Alexander Zverev at Roland Garros on Tuesday, eliminating the in-form German 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-2 in a first round match that was suspended overnight after a long debate between both players and the umpire.

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The 33-year-old clay court specialist outmuscled the German when play resumed on Tuesday at one set each, with Zverev having lost momentum from a day earlier when he had grabbed the second set and looked in control.

Instead of pushing to play on on Monday evening, Zverev agreed to Verdasco's request to call a halt shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time, a decision that proved disastrous for the German.

The 20-year-old World No. 10, who has already won three titles this year including the Italian Open and was seen as an outside bet for the title in Paris, had no answer on Tuesday to Verdasco's punishing ground strokes.

The Spaniard, who has won six of his seven career titles on clay, broke Zverev twice to clinch the third set before the German collapsed in the fourth.

Australia's Nick Kyrgios in action during his first round match against Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber.   -  Reuters

 

Kyrgios eases into second round

Australian Nick Kyrgios shrugged off injury concerns and kept his emotions in check to outclass Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 on Tuesday and book his spot in the second round of the French Open.

The 18th seed, who fired a total of 20 aces, including six in the first set alone, which he raced though in 30 minutes.

A mini-break in the tie break was enough to hand him the second set as Kohlschreiber struggled with the Australian's whipped ground-strokes and repeated audacious drop shots.

Kyrgios, notorious for his periodic bad temper and sulks on court, sealed his victory on his first match point.

Tsonga thriller halted by darkness

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s first round match at the French Open had been suspended because of darkness with the 12th-seeded Frenchman seemingly on the brink of an early exit.

Tsonga was losing 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 5-4 to Roland Garros debutant Renzo Olivo when the match was interrupted.

Cheered by a passionate home crowd, Tsonga valiantly fought his way back into the match after losing the opening two sets, but the Frenchman was broken in the fourth for a second time to leave Olivo serving for the match.

Tsonga, who has never lost to a player ranked as low as No. 91 Olivo at a Grand Slam, broke back on the last of his three break points.

Murray wins

Top-seeded Andy Murray is safely through to the second round of the French Open after beating Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0.

Murray, who was runner-up at Roland Garros last year, has been struggling in 2017 and looked uncomfortable at times during the second set.

But the world No. 1 got into his stride and saw out the final set in just 27 minutes, sealing the match with a forehand down the line after winning eight successive games.

“Last year was a great year for me, you know it was the best I ever played,” Murray said. “Here at the beginning of my career I struggled. But each year I kept coming back and was trying a little bit better and last year was really good.

“And last year during Bercy that’s when I reached No. 1 for first time, so I’ve got very good memories from Paris last year, and I’ll try and have another good one year this year.”

The British player will face Martin Klizan in the second round.


Del Potro's successful return

Juan Martin Del Potro made a successful return to Roland Garros after a five-year absence on Tuesday, setting aside injury concerns to sail through 6-2 6-1 6-4 against fellow Argentine Guido Pella.

The 29th seed, whose career has been plagued by injury, confirmed his participation in this year's French Open only on Friday after suffering shoulder and back problems.

Del Potro, who reached the French Open semi-finals in 2009, moved across court six with no apparent signs of discomfort, sending down 13 aces in outclassing qualifier Pella in just under two hours.

Tuesday's match was Del Potro's first on the Paris clay since 2012, when he lost in the quarter-finals to Roger Federer.

Stan cruises past Kovalik

Stan Wawrinka is safely through to the second round of the French Open after a 6-2, 7-6 (6), 6-3 win over Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia.

Wawrinka started his clay season poorly before emerging with a title at the Geneva Open last week. The No. 3 seed kept up his momentum in Paris.

“I enjoyed it very much,” said Wawrinka, who won at Roland Garros in 2015. “It was not necessarily easy after I played in Geneva until Saturday to get into gear. I’m feeling good, I’m playing good tennis and I’m happy to be back in Paris.”

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