French Open at a glance - Day One

Sunday May 26 2019

Switzerland's Roger Federer serves the ball to Italy's Lorenzo Sonego during their men's singles first round match on day 1 of The Roland Garros 2019 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on May 26, 2019. PHOTO | ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT |

French Open at a glance - Day One:

+ Federer claims comfortable win in first Roland Garros match since 2015

+ Kerber career Grand Slam bid ends in first round by Russian teenager Potapova

+ Tsitsipas cruises into round two

+ Second seed Pliskova makes strong start

+ Svitolina sees off 38-year-old Venus


Anastasia Potapova (RUS) bt Angelique Kerber (GER x5) 6-4, 6-2

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x6) bt Maximilian Marterer (GER) 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4)

Roger Federer (SUI x3) bt Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x2) bt Madison Brengle (USA) 6-2, 6-3

Elina Svitolina (UKR x9) bt Venus Williams (USA) 6-3, 6-3

New court 'like a garden'

Garbine Muguruza won the first-ever French Open match to be played on the picturesque Court Simonne Mathieu, beating Taylor Townsend in three sets. The 2016 champion was impressed by what she saw.

"It's in a very different place. You don't feel like you are around court. It's like in a garden. It's a different feeling," she said.

From hero to zero

Italian Marco Cecchinato made waves last year in Paris with a shock victory over Novak Djokovic helping him reach the semi-finals as the world number 72. Twelve months on, though, and seeded 16th, he blew a two-set lead to lose 2-6, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 against French veteran Nicolas Mahut.

Due to the lost ranking points, Cecchinato will slip from 19th in the world to outside the top 35 at the end of the tournament, probably even losing his seeding for Wimbledon.

Howzat Otte?

Unheralded German lucky loser Oscar Otte will play a dream second-round match against his "idol" Roger Federer, after his win over experienced Tunisian Malek Jaziri more than doubled his prize money for the year.

But he also counts former cricketer Mark Benson, who played one Test for England, as an inspiration.

"I have known him for a long time and have got to know him quite well," Otte told AFP of Benson, who is the father of the man who is soon to marry Otte's sister Luisa.

"I know about his career which was very impressive and I always keep in touch with him."

"I would be surprised if Roger knew my name." - Otte on his illustrious next opponent.

"The reception I got today was crazy, was really nice to see a full stadium for a first round like this. It was a beauty." - Federer was taken aback by the packed Court Philippe Chatrier for his first French Open match since 2015.

"It was a bad day today. I don't want to speak a lot today. Is very, very tough on me after last year. So I think it's bad day today." - Cecchinato delivers a one-answer press conference after his collapse against Mahut.

"The clay season is over now for me. Yeah, I'm happy about that, that I can now looking forward to playing on grass." - Angelique Kerber was ready to put a disappointing clay-court season behind her.

"She's actually one of my idols, and when I was young I was looking for her game, how she's playing."
- Potapova was delighted to play against Kerber, 13 years her senior.

"Very soon. I'm still working on it. It's developing. Construction."
- Stefanos Tsitsipas is giving nothing away about a supposed secret he will soon be sharing on social media.

Four - Years since Federer's last French Open appearance, a 2015 quarter-final loss to Stan Wawrinka.

Six - The number of times Kerber has fallen at the first hurdle in Paris, including in three of the last four years.

60 - Successive first-round wins for Federer at Grand Slam tournaments.

350 million - Euros spent on the renovation of Roland Garros.