World no. 19 and 2016 Roland Garros champion was forced to work hard in the opening match in Paris, ousting Taylor Townsend 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 59 minutes. This was the 25th win for the Spaniard at clay Major, getting broken twice and delivering five breaks of serve from nine opportunities, closing the match with 37 winners and 29 unforced errors.
The American also had more direct points than mistakes but grabbed only two breaks, good enough to keep her in contention only in the opener. They traded breaks in games six and seven, pushing each other to the limits until game 12 when Taylor broke at love for a 7-5.
Garbine had to raise her level and she did that from set number two, serving well and delivering two breaks in sets two and three each to move into the second round. The 31st seed Petra Martic played in the fourth round here twice and she is ready to repeat that this week too, kicking off the campaign with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Ons Jabeur in 63 minutes, celebrating the ninth win at Roland Garros.
Jabeur broke the Croat twice but she needed much more than that to make an impact, dropping 66% of the points in her games and giving serve away six times from ten chances offered to Martic. Johanna Larsson ousted Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 21 minutes, losing serve only once and forging the advantage with three breaks from eight opportunities.
The Swede clinched the first set with a break in game six and had to dig deep in set number two, overcoming a 4-1 deficit to rattle off five straight games and score straight sets triumph. The 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova claimed the seventh Grand Slam victory, beating Yafan Wang 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 21 minutes, firing 22 winners and 18 unforced errors and stealing the Chinese's serve five times from 11 opportunities.
Marketa launched the encounter with three straight breaks and delivered two in set number two to book the place in round two, looking good to do a lot of damage in the draw this year in Paris. A qualifier Kristina Kucova dismissed 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-2 in 67 minutes, fending off all four break points and moving in front with three breaks from six chances, playing better and better as the match progressed to seal the deal and claim the first win in Paris.