By Mike McIntyre
Photography: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
Tuesday at the French Open saw the upsets continue in the women's draw with 7th seeded Johanna Konta taken out by 109th ranked Hsieh Su-Wei of Tapei. Konta's success on the hardcourts did not translate onto clay this year as her record on the red dirt now sits at 2-4.
Alize Cornet gave the home crowd something to cheer about as she dismissed Timea Babos in three sets 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-2. Cornet was 1-3 on clay this year coming into the match but no-doubt drew on the French support for inspiration. Her best result here is the fourth round back in 2015.
Babos - showing some visible frustration above - finishes the clay court season with but a single win in the five events she entered.
The French also had the pleasure of watching 28th seed Caroline Garcia advance with ease 6-2, 6-2 over Nao Hibino of Japan. With Konta now out of the draw, Garcia has a clearer path towards a possible quarter-final against 9th seed Aga Radwanska.
Garcia was all smiles as she moved onto the second round.
Anastasija Sevastova lost her balance but not the match as she knocked-off German Annika Beck 6-2, 6-4. The Latvian is coming in hot with a 9-4 record on clay including victories over Sam Stosur, Karolina Pliskova and Johanna Konta.
Mona Barthel was visibly upset with her result today and joined a throng of other Germans who made an early exit this year at the tournament. Barthel was dismantled by Tsvetana Pironkova 6-0, 6-4.
Romanian Sorana Cirstea was pumped-up with her smooth 6-3, 6-1 victory over Shuai Peng who was playing in her 10th Roland Garros and won the doubles crown here in 2014. For Cirstea it is another step in the right direction for someone who is currently ranked 64th but was once ranked just outside of the top-twenty and and made the quarter-finals in Paris back in 2009.
Elina Svitolina is getting a lot of buzz as a potential French Open winner and dispatched the always tricky Yaroslava Shvedova 6-4, 6-3 in her opening match. Shvedova was a quarterfinalist here in both 2010 and 2012. Svitolina could see Ana Konjuh in the third round and Sevastova in the fourth. A blockbuster quarter-final against Halep would be fun to watch as Svitolina knocked-off Halep in the finals in Rome recently.
Take a good look at Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic. The 17 year old lefty phenom has been crushing her opponents since entering the qualifying draw here and has only dropped 8 games through 4 matches. On Tuesday she destroyed Amandine Hesse 6-1, 6-0.
Amandine Hesse was feeling the pain after that dismantling from Vondrousova.
Back in action was Madison Keys who delivered the 6-3, 6-2 win over Ashley Barty. The 12th seed made the fourth round here a year ago but has struggled with a wrist injury this year that has limited her to but five events. Tuesday marked her first win on clay this season so maybe she is about to turn things around.
Third seeded Simona Halep is likely the favorite at this point if she has recovered from an ankle issue that bothered her coming into the tournament. She advanced in straight sets on Tuesday 6-2, 6-3 versus Jana Cepelova.
If Halep can avoid any issues with the ankle she could finally have the Grand Slam breakthrough that people have been waiting for ever since she made the finals of Roland Garros back in 2014. With Serena Williams out of the picture, this would be the perfect opportunity for the Romanian.
And finally, for Canadian tennis fans it has not been easy following Genie Bouchard since her breakthrough performance back in 2014. She started slow today against Risa Ozaki from Japan but recovered to move into the second round with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory.