Story so far: Thiem downs Cilic, clean start for Kvitova

 - Reem Abulleil

Thiem wins the battle of US Open champions as Kvitova skips into the second round on Monday

Dominic Thiem, Roland Garros 2020, first round© Julien Crosnier/FFT

Freshly-crowned US Open champion Dominic Thiem picked up right where he left off in New York as he posted a convincing 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 success over Croatia's Marin Cilic in Paris on Monday.

The Austrian two-time Roland-Garros runner-up was worried about the letdown that typically comes after achieving a lifelong dream but he had no trouble backing up his US Open title run with a big victory in a tricky opener in the French capital.

Thiem is now 4-0 overall against Cilic in career meetings, including a third-round win at the US Open earlier this month.

"I didn't want to lose too much tension after my victory in New York and I'm really how I did it, really happy with my first round. I was facing another great champion today, so the transition to the clay and to the cold conditions worked out really well," said Thiem, who didn't play any matches on clay between the US Open and Roland-Garros.

"I love the conditions because I'm from Austria, so I know how it is to play in these cold conditions. Back in juniors and when I started to play Futures, it was always like that, 10, 15 degrees cold, so I love it when it's not too fast, so I can be a little bit behind the baseline, make a lot of returns in court. I feel well and I felt well from the first moment I came here again this year, so I'm looking forward to an exciting second round."

Thiem's next opponent is American qualifier Jack Sock, who beat his countryman Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

Welcome back, Petra

Petra Kvitova and indoor tennis are a match made in heaven and the Czech No.7 seed reminded us of that on Monday as she opened her Roland-Garros 2020 campaign with a 6-3, 7-5 win over home favourite Oceane Dodin under the Court Philippe-Chatrier roof.

Kvitova, who had to miss the Parisian Grand Slam last year due to injury, closed out the contest with her 29th winner of the match on the 76-minute mark to book a second round against Italy's Jasmine Paolini.

"We never played each other before, not even in practice, so it was really tough from the beginning, but I found actually she plays very aggressive, her shots are similar as mine, so I was just trying to wait for the chance to break her serve. In the second she came back and really played much stronger and it was really tough in the end," said the 30-year-old Kvitova, who won 86 per cent of her first-serve points and hit just 14 unforced errors.

Kvitova reached the semi-finals in Paris in 2012 and hasn't made it past the fourth round at the event since.

Bertens tested

No.5 seed Kiki Bertens overcame an inspired effort from Ukrainian Katarina Zavatska to come through 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 in two hours and five minutes.

In a match that had a delayed start due to the rain, Bertens dropped serve five times and hit 34 unforced errors but managed to draw on her experience to rally back against her 20-year-old opponent.

Her next test will be no easier as Bertens takes on 2012 Roland-Garros finalist Sara Errani, who made it through qualifying before dismissing Olympic champion 6-2, 6-1 on Monday.

Happy birthday, Yoshi

Before his Roland-Garros opener, Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka, who turned 25 on Sunday, posted on his Twitter saying he hoped he'd start a new year around the sun on a positive note.

The world No.52 did just that as he upset 19th-seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 to set up a second round against French wild card Hugo Gaston.