Unseeded Suwei and v eteran Verdasco cause upsets in P aris
PARIS — Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco caused a major upset at the French Open y esterday, eliminating inform Ale xander Z verev (20 ) of Germany 64, 36, 64, 62 in the first round after their game had been interrupted at oneset all on Monday.
The 33yearold clay court specialist outmuscled the y oung German when play resumed yesterday, with Zverev ha ving los t his momentum from a day earlier when he had grabbed the sec ond set and look ed in complete control.
South Africa’s Kevin Anderson defeated Tunisian player Malek Jaziri 76, 6 3, 76.
Anderson ne xt f aces A ustralian Nick Kyrgios, who shrugged off injury concerns and k ept his emotions in check to outclass Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 63 76 63.
The 18th seed, not orious for his oncourt tantrums, showed no signs of being hampered by the hip injury that forced him out of the Rome tournament earlier this month.
Kyrgios has also been r eceiving treatment for a shoulder injury .
But the 22y earold, c onsidered among the most gifted players of his generation, fired a total of 20 ac es, including six in the fir st set, w hich he claimed in 30 minut es.
“There w ere a lot of que stions about how I would perform today,” Kyrgios told reporters. “I did not play many matches on clay and was not feeling that c onfident.
“I thought it would be tough. But I serv ed r eally w ell at import ant times of the mat ch.”
A minibreak in the tie break was enough to hand him the second set as Kohlschreiber struggled with the Australian’s whipped groundstrokes and repeated audacious dr opshots.
Kyrgios, who sealed his victory on his first match point, recently teamed up with former French pro Sebastien Grosjean after years without a coach.
“To get to the top five and compete in the Slams I need t o ha ve someone in my corner. It’s time now to knuckle down,” he said. K yrgios’ quick and powerful game is more fitted to hard or grass courts than the French clay.
Thirdseeded St an W awrinka launched his bid for a second French Open title with a slo w start, toiling to find his rhythm before ultimately beating Slovak qualifier Jozef Kovalik 62, 76 ( 6), 63.
The 2015 champion s truggled to time the b all on an o vercast Court Suzanne Lenglen, fr equently spraying his tr ademark b ackhand dri ve long or into the net as he looked to keep the points short against 152ndranked Kovalik, who was making his Roland Garros debut.
But the Swiss did enough to win the rallies that mat tered.
The Swiss will play Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolg opolov in the sec ond round. M eanwhile, w orld number one Andy Murray played it straight by the French Open form book with a mostly regulation 64, 46, 62, 60 firstround win over Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov.
Murray, w ho has had an underwhelming year so far and was struck down by illness last week, hit 29 winners during the mat ch and w as helped out by Kuznetsov making 45 unforced errors.
The Briton will face Martin Klizan of Slovakia in the ne xt round.
American M adison K eys, the women’s number 12 seed, beat Australia’s Ashleigh Barty 63 62 for her first win on cla y this season.
Keys will f ace P etra M artic in round t wo aft er the C roat beat Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko 62 75 ear lier yesterday.
France’s Alize Cornet beat Hungary’s Timea Babos 62 67 (5) 62 in an evenly contested firstround encounter.
Unseeded Hsieh Suwei of Taiwan beat women’s seventh seed Johanna Konta of Britain 16, 76 (2), 64 in the first round. The defeat marked Konta’s thir d c onsecutive fir stround exit from the F rench Open.
Hsieh will next play American Taylor T ownsend, w ho beat J apanese qualifier Miyu Kato 64, 60.