World No. 3 Maria Sakkari acknowledged a Grand Slam first round is never easy, especially when you face a local player. On Sunday, Sakkari handled the business on the court as she saw off French wildcard Clara Burel 6-2 6-3 to reach the second round at the French Open.
"I think it's always tough to play first round in a Grand Slam, especially against a local [player]," Sakkari said, per the WTA website. "But I think I handled the stress of the first round extremely well.
My tennis maybe was not 10 out of 10, but overall I think I did a great job."
Sakkari overcomes Burel in straight sets
Sakkari claimed the first break of the match in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead but got broken back immediately in the following game.
Blowing an early break didn't impact Sakkari, who broke Burel in the sixth and eighth games to win the first set. After losing the first set, Burel started the second set with an early break. Unfortunately for Burel, her lead was short-lived as Sakkari broke back in the second game.
Sakkari earned her second break of the second set in the eighth game, before serving out for the match in the following game. Meanwhile, Jil Teichmann joined Sakkari on the winners' circle as she defeated Bernarda Pera 6-2 6-1.
"This match was absolutely crucial for me today so I could keep up with the good work and I'm really reassured that my body's fine," Teichmann said. "I felt great. It's never easy to start a Grand Slam, so I'm really happy with my win today.
I know her pretty good, I used to practice a lot with her and so we knew both of us what we were expecting and really glad that I was this solid today." Fourth-seeded Sakkari plays Karolina Muchova next, while Teichmann plays Olga Danilovic in the second round.