Story so far: Kvitova fights back, Osaka starts strong


Two-time major champion Petra Kvitova rallies back from the brink as second-seeded Osaka advances

Petra Kvitova, Roland Garros 2021, first round© Philippe Montigny/FFT

Czech No.11 seed Petra Kvitova saved a match point en route to a hard-fought 6-7(3), 7-6(5), 6-1 win over Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen in the first round at Roland-Garros on Sunday.

Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion and two-time Roland-Garros semi-finalist, hit 11 double faults and needed two hours and 16 minutes to overcome an inspired Minnen and set up a second round against Elena Vesnina or Olga Govortsova.

Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka enjoyed a confident start to her Roland-Garros campaign with a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over Romanian world No.63 Patricia Maria Tig on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Sunday to extend her winning streak at the Grand Slams to 15 matches in a row.

The Japanese No.2 seed is looking to make it beyond the third round in Paris for the first time in her career and produced a calm and commanding performance to pass her first test.

Osaka, who has won her last two consecutive majors but did not compete at Roland-Garros last year, is seeking a fifth Grand Slam title, and first on a surface other than hard court.


Her one-hour 47-minute success over Tig was just her second clay-court match-win of the season - from four matches contested - and she will now take on another Romanian, Ana Bogdan, who knocked out Italian lucky loser Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1, 6-3.

"I would say it's a work in progress. Hopefully the more I play, the better it will get," Osaka said of the state of her current clay-court game.


Tig, whose best Paris performance came last year when she made the third round, was facing a top-10 player for the first time.

The 26-year-old saved 8/10 break points and swatted away a match point to force a second-set tiebreak but ultimately succumbed in straight sets.

Another early exit for Angie

Over on Court 14, No.26 seed and former world No.1 Angelique Kerber crashed out of the first round 6-2, 6-4 to Ukrainian qualifier Anhelina Kalinina.

The German three-time major champion has now lost her opener in Paris five times in the last six years.

"I think I had a late start, especially I started to play better in the second set, but yeah, I don't know. I think she played good. I was not able to play my best tennis or like how I practiced in the last few days," said the 33-year-old Kerber.

"I think I have to accept that and looking forward to the next challenge."

Kalinina has yet to drop a set through four matches so far this week in Paris, having breezed through three qualifying rounds before advancing to the main-draw second round.

Spain's Paula Badosa, who won the Belgrade title a week ago, kept up her great form this season to ease past American Lauren Davis 6-2, 7-6(3).

Her compatriot and two-time Roland-Garros quarter-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta joined her in round two with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Norbert Gombos of Slovakia.

Italian No.27 seed Fabio Fognini dispatched home favourite Gregoire Barrere 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in just over two hours, but there was French delight for 177th-ranked wildcard Enzo Couacaud, who moved into the Roland-Garros second round for the second time in three years 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-3 over Belarusian world No.78 Egor Gerasimov.