05/25 10:18 CDT The Latest: Cotton wad and all, Kyrgios brings character
The Latest: Cotton wad and all, Kyrgios brings character
By The Associated Press
PARIS (AP) --- 5:14 p.m.
Who says tennis lacks characters?
Nick Kyrgios, a 20-year-old Australian, likes a good grumble as he plays, even
approaching the fiery levels reached by John "You cannot be serious!" McEnroe
in his day.
"What a joke," the Aussie muttered under his breath --- and that was after
winning the second set against Denis Istomin.
Kyrgios played a chunk of the first set with a wad of cotton stuffed into his
left nostril, perhaps to stop a nosebleed.
There were unusual goings-on in the Uzbek's corner, too. He sniffed from what
looked like a bottle of smelling salts during a changeover, grimacing and
shaking his head at the whiff.
They made me do it!
Fabio Fognini says his colorful, flowery headband and all-black French Open
outfit were not by choice.
The 28th-seeded Italian says his clothing sponsor made him wear the ensemble
for his first-round match Monday.
"But they told me that if I won, I could (switch), because we also have a white
Mission accomplished: Fognini beat Tatsuma Ito of Japan 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
Agnieszka Radwanska, formerly ranked No. 2 and a 2012 Wimbledon finalist, fails
to advance beyond the French Open first round for the first time since her 2007
debut at the clay-court major. The 14th seed loses 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 to 83rd-ranked
Angelique Kerber, seeded 11th, Elina Svitolina, seeded 19th, and 26th-seeded
Samantha Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champion and 2010 French Open finalist, are
through to the second round, all with straight-sets victories.
And then there was one.
Of the five Japanese men who started the French Open first round, the most
since 1967, only fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori will play in the second round.
Go Soeda tumbled out first on Day 1, followed on Day 2 by Yoshihito Nishioka,
Tatsuma Ito and Taro Daniel, all out in straight sets.
When a picture is worth 100 words. Associated Press photographer Christophe Ena
captured every sinew of Alize Cornet's delight during her first win, in five
attempts, against Italy's Roberta Vinci, going through 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to the
French Open second round.
After the first set, "I told myself, 'Oh la la. I'm going to fail yet again,'"
the 29th-seeded Frenchwoman told the partisan home crowd on center court that
roared her on.
"A super victory for me."
And a super photo from Ena, clickable here: http://tinyurl.com/pjn9n29
Feliciano Lopez of Spain, seeded 11th, is the highest seeded man to tumble so
far, losing 6-3, 7-6 (9), 6-3 in the first round to 74th-ranked Teymuraz
Gabashvili of Russia.
That was quick.
The Grand Slam debut of 17-year-old Frances Tiafoe, the youngest man at this
French Open, lasted just 1 hour, 40 minutes.
The first 17-year-old American man at the French since Michael Chang won the
title in 1989, Tiafoe crumbled 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 against 36th-ranked Martin Klizan
Tiafoe, from College Park, Maryland, earned a wild card from the U.S. Tennis
Association for the main draw, a year after playing in the French Open junior
His first-round match was played on tiny Court 5 --- seating capacity 379.
Hardly the big time.
Fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych is through to the second round with a 6-0, 7-5, 6-3
win over Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka.
Against a player looking for a first-ever win on clay at a big tournament,
Berdych overwhelmed Nishioka with powerful groundstrokes, sealing the first set
in 27 minutes.
The Japanese teenager offered better resistance in the second set but wilted in
the 12th game when Berdych applied more pressure with a series of good returns
and broke with a backhand down the line that Nishioka returned wide.
Another break in the third set was enough for Berdych to improve his record on
the Parisian clay to 18-11.
The eighth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro, who looms as a potentially tricky
quarterfinal opponent for defending champion Maria Sharapova if they both get
that far, made light work of her first-round 6-2, 6-2 victory against Monica
Niculescu, a 67th-ranked Romanian.
Suarez Navarro, from Spain, was a quarterfinalist both last year and on her
French Open debut in 2008. She made the day for a few kids in the crowd,
stopping on her way back to the locker room to autograph their giant tennis
Meanwhile, on center court, the home crowd is roaring for 29th-seeded Alize
Cornet as the Frenchwoman wins the second set 6-4 to even up her first-round
match against Roberta Vinci, who took the first set 6-4.
Cross fingers, the threat of rain appears to be receding, with bright sunlight
and patches of blue sky poking through the dense clouds.
Sabine Lisicki, runner-up at Wimbledon in 2013, makes a strong start at the
only major where she's never reached at least the fourth round, barely working
up a sweat in a 6-3, 6-2 beating of 86th-ranked Monica Puig.
The German, seeded 20th, served out the first-round match with an ace. The
expedited 66-minute victory leaves her plenty of time to relax back at the
rented apartment she showed off here on her Twitter feed:
Spotted in the alleys of the French Open: Patrick Mouratoglou, coach of 19-time
Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams, perched precariously on a concrete
post, racket in the air, striking a warrior's pose for a French newspaper
Our AP Sports Writer Samuel Petrequin caught the moment here:
The tennis equivalent of breakfast, lunch, dinner and plenty of snacking in
between on Day 2 of the French Open, with a whopping 57 first-round singles
matches spread across 15 courts filling with expectant crowds. In short, a
quick-moving feast of bright yellow balls, blood-red clay and no shortage of
The big question: will rain hold off? Skies over Roland Garros on what is a
national holiday for many French are thick with menacing dark clouds. Cloying
dampness in the air could make for heavy and tiring playing conditions.
Andy Murray, Venus Williams and defending women's champion Maria Sharapova are
among big names in action. Frances Tiafoe, at age 17 the youngest man here,
flies the flag for tennis' next generation of potential stars. The oldest man
in the draw, 36-year-old Radek Stepanek, is first out on Court 14, against
119th-ranked Ivan Dodig.