Sara Errani, the 2012 Roland Garros runner-up, was among the victors of 2024’s first qualifying round. The 37-year-old Italian came through 6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour and 28 minutes against Ann Li.

The No.1 qualifying seed this year, Errani is making her 17th appearance at the tournament, having made her qualifying debut in 2007. The 37-year-old Italian is fresh off claiming the Rome doubles title last week alongside Jasmine Paolini, her first doubles crown at WTA 1000 level or above since 2014.

Home players pull off Houdini acts

Two Frenchwomen, spurred on by the Parisian crowd, turned their matches around from the brink of defeat. On Monday, former No.90 Harmony Tan fended off five match points en route to outlasting Nastasja Schunk 6-7(3), 7-6(6), 6-3 in 3 hours and 35 minute.

Tan, who famously defeated Serena Williams in the 23-time major champion’s final Wimbledon match in 2022, had squandered two set points to drop the first set to Schunk, the 2021 Wimbledon junior finalist. But Tan saved two serving at 4-5 in the second set, three more serving at 5-6, then pulled away in the decider.

On Tuesday, wild card Alice Tubello also pulled off a remarkable escape to defeat Chinese Taipei’s Yang Ya-Yi 5-7, 7-6(6), 6-1 from two match points down. Yang held her first match point serving at 6-5 in the second set, and her second in the tiebreak, but missed on the forehand both times. The 23-year-old Tubello will next face Errani.

No.13 seed May Hontama saved seven match points in a contest full of twists and turns to get the better of Carol Zhao 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 in 2 hours and 56 minutes. Hontama won the first set from 5-3 down and missed her first match point serving at 5-4 in the second set. From 5-2 down in the third set, Hontama won the last five games in a row, with all seven of Zhao’s match points coming as the Canadian served at 5-3.

Romania’s Miriam Bulgarian also saved one match point as Aliona Falei served at 6-5 in the third set, triumphing 6-4, 5-7, 7-6[3] in 3 hours and 17 minutes.

Eleven of Top 16 seeds advance to second round

Errani led a strong showing from seeded players, with 11 of the Top 16 all notching wins in their openers. Among them were:

No.2 Julia Rierawho needed just 53 minutes to speed past Natalija Stevanovic 6-0, 6-2 on Monday. The Argentinian will play Tan in the second round.

No.5 Jule Niemeierthe 2022 Wimbledon quarterfinalist, who enjoyed the quickest victory of the first round with a 6-0, 6-1 rout of Laura Ioana Paar in 44 minutes. Paar, 35, was playing for the first time since Wimbledon 2022, and had been the last direct entry to the qualifying draw (via a special ranking). Niemeier will next face Lauren Davis, who defeated Simona Walter 7-5, 6-2.

No.9 Moyuka Uchijima extended her winning streak to 16 matches by defeating Lithuania’s Justina Mikulskyte 6-2, 6-1. The Japanese 22-year-old made her Top 100 debut this week after winning consecutive ITF titles in Gifu, Trnava and Madrid.

No.16 Rebecca Sramkova is, like Uchijima, a brand new face in this week’s Top 100 after reaching the fourth round of Rome as a qualifier. The Slovak also sustained her strong form, dismissing 17-year-old wild card Sarah Iliev 6-4, 6-1.

Ciric Bagaric, Avdeeva deliver notable upsets on debut

Lucia Ciric Bagaric took out No.7 Arina Rodionova 6-4, 6-3, the highest seed to lose her opener. Croatia’s Ciric Bagaric was making her Grand Slam qualifying debut; the 20-year-old began 2024 with a 23-match winning streak and is now at a career high of No.185. Rodionova had been making a quick surface transition after reaching the Kurume ITF W75 final last week on Japanese hard courts.

Slovenia’s Veronika Erjavec notched her first Grand Slam qualifying win 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 over No.14 Claire Liu in 1 hour and 55 minutes. Liu had won the Saint-Gaudens ITF W75 two weeks ago.

Julia Avdeeva took out No.15 Emiliana Arango 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in 2 hours and 1 minute. The big-hitting Avdeeva, 21, was making her Grand Slam qualifying debut.

Ten teenagers victorious in opening round

Ten teenagers will continue their Roland Garros campaigns in the second round, including:

Sisters Brenda and Linda Fruhvirtovawho both advanced in straight sets. No.4 seed Brenda, 17, raced past former No.43 Viktoria Hruncakova 6-0, 6-3 in 64 minutes; she will next face 19-year-old Robin Montgomerywho won 6-1, 6-2 over Ekaterina Makarova. Meanwhile Linda, 19, defeated Iryna Shymanovich 6-4, 6-2 and will next play Sramkova.

Marina Stakusicwho turned heads with her performance in last November’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals, won the first Grand Slam qualifying match of her career 6-1, 6-4 over No.10 seed Marina Bassols Ribera. The 19-year-old Canadian will next face Antonia Ruzic.

A generational clash saw Petra Marcinko18, advance 6-2, 6-4 over two-time quarterfinalist Kaia Kanepi, 38. The Croatian teenager notched her first victory since last October; Roland Garros marks just her fourth tournament of 2024 due to injury; she will next face Uchijima.

Former junior No.5 Sara Saito17, marked her Grand Slam qualifying debut by defeating Francisca Jorge of Portugal 6-4, 6-1. The Japanese teenager will next face No.28 seed Alycia Parks, who snapped a 13-match losing streak to defeat wild card Manon Leonard 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Dominika Salkova19, extended her winning streak to six matches after coming from 4-1 down in the third set to beat No.31 seed Arianne Hartono 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. The Czech player was the champion of last week’s Prague ITF W75 event.

Elsewhere, Alexandra Eala18, routed Ma Ye-Xin 6-1, 6-1; Taylah Preston18, took out Tara Wurth 6-2, 6-4; and Solana Sierra19, pulled off a 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 comeback against Kateryna Baindl.


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