Story so far: Sinner inaugurates roof with win, Halep extends streak

 - Reem Abulleil

Italian teen Sinner enjoys a tremendous start to his campaign in Paris, as Halep claims birthday victory

Jannik Sinner, Roland Garros 2020, first round© Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

Italian teenager Jannik Sinner had a Roland-Garros debut to remember as he cruised past Belgian 11th seed David Goffin 7-5, 6-0, 6-3 in the opening round on Sunday, in just under two hours.

In the first match to be played under the new roof on Court Philippe-Chatrier, Sinner posted his second win from two meetings with the 29-year-old Goffin to set up a second round against French qualifier Benjamin Bonzi.

The 74th-ranked Sinner is now an impressive 4-5 against top-20 opposition.

"At the beginning it's never easy, especially at the beginning of a new tournament. It's the first time for me here at Roland-Garros" said the 19-year-old Sinner.


"It's very nice to see once more a little bit of crowd, which I think this sport needs. Obviously playing against David, he's a great player, I know him quite well, we're good friends, so it's not easy, but I'm very happy."

A birthday for the ages

Next on centre court, top seed and 2018 champion Simona Halep celebrated her 29th birthday with a 6-4, 6-0 success over Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo to extend her winning streak to 15 matches in a row.

"I'm really pleased with the victory. It's always tough to start the tournament. I was a bit nervous. She played really well in the first set, she didn't miss. Then I just found the rhythm, I started to open the court better and not going for everything. So I changed, I had a plan B and it worked very well for me today," said Halep on court, after being serenaded by the centre-court crowd, wishing her a happy birthday.

"I'm really honoured to play here today the first round under the roof. Actually it's going to be a unique moment for me playing on my birthday at Roland-Garros. So forever I will keep it, and I just want to enjoy today because it's really special."

More teen heroics

Making her Grand Slam debut and playing just her second tour-level match, 19-year-old Russian qualifier Kamilla Rakhimova blasted past former Roland-Garros quarter-finalist Shelby Rogers 6-2, 6-3 to become the first player to reach the second round at Roland-Garros 2020.

The world No.182 did not blink en route to a 64-minute victory over Rogers, who defeated Serena Williams last month on her way to the Lexington semi-finals.

Vika rolls through, Venus crashes out

Former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka kicked off her campaign with a smooth 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.

The recent US Open finalist needed just 61 minutes to advance to a second round against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, who ended a 12-match losing streak in Grand Slam main draws to topple Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 on Court Simonne-Mathieu.