Story so far: Cecchinato shocked

Last year's semi-finalist led two sets to love before losing to local Nicolas Mahut.

Marco Cecchinato Nicolas Mahut first round 2019©Nicolas Gouhier / FFT

Last year's semi-finalist and this year's No.16 seed Marco Cecchinato let a two-sets-to-love lead slip on Sunday against French wildcard Nicolas Mahut, who claimed an emotional 2-6, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in front of a buoyant Court Simonne-Mathieu crowd.

Cecchinato's five victories in Paris last year remain the only Grand Slam main draw wins he's ever collected, while Mahut's triumph on Sunday marked the 37-year-old Frenchman's 30th career win at a major.

Another 37-year-old had a good opening day as Roger Federer marked his return to Roland-Garros for the first time since 2015 with a straight-sets dismissal of Italian Lorenzo Sonego, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The Swiss remains undefeated in Grand Slam first-round matches since he fell to Luis Horna in his opener at Roland-Garros in 2003.


Former world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov halted a spirited comeback from another ex-top-tenner, Janko Tipsarevic, to defeat the Serb 6-0, 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-4 and book a tricky second-round meeting with No.11 seed Marin Cilic. It was only the 10th main-draw victory of the season for Dimitrov, who has slipped to No.47 in the world hampered by a shoulder injury.

"To play Grigor in the second round is one of the toughest draws," Cilic told reporters on Sunday. "I have to prepare the best I can and to play my level of tennis and try to play as good as I can.

"And I know that Grigor didn't have as many wins as we would expect him to see, but I still think that his level is good. He's playing really good and maybe just that one or two matches here and there can make a difference."

Grigor Dimitrov Janko Tipsarevic 2019©Philippe Montigny / FFT

Over on Court 14, Svetlana Kuznetsova, who is celebrating the 10-year-old anniversary of her Roland-Garros title victory, fell 6-4, 6-2 to Slovakian qualifier Kristina Kucova.


Home favourite Kristina Mladenovic recovered from an early break to defeat her compatriot Fiona Ferro 6-3, 7-6(3), while freshly-crowned Rome champion Karolina Pliskova, the No.2 seed, also came from behind in the first set to ease past Madison Brengle 6-2, 6-3.

Other seeded winners on Sunday include No.15 seed Belinda Bencic, No.7 Kei Nishikori and No.29 Matteo Berrettini, who is a possible third-round hurdle for Federer.