Defending champ Ostapenko loses in first round at French Open

Simona Halep

Simona Halep

Both of Djokovic's matches so far have been against qualifiers; neither win was particularly impressive. "And I'm trying to not give up".

Ostapenko had is blowing a wind of freshness on Roland Garros past year by winning two days after his twentieth birthday, the first tournament of his career.

Fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov got his Roland Garros campaign off to a good start, powering past lucky loser Mohamed Safwat 6-1 6-4 7-6 (1) in the opening match on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Fourth-seeded Ukraine Elina Svitolina also advanced, fending off Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-3. She allowed her opponent to convert 7 of 16 break points, including when a backhand landed in the net to end the match after about 1½ hours.

Former semi-finalist Gael Monfils shrugged off a typically sluggish first set to triumph against fellow Frenchman Elliot Benchetrit 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1.

"Nobody plans on this", Williams told reporters after the match.

The 21-year-old German scoffed at the premise.

"In general I maybe played to around 20 percent of my capability", said a frustrated Ostapenko afterwards. He has come to Paris on the back of winning claycourt titles in Munich and Madrid, besides reaching the final in Rome. "How am I going to play the next point?"' he responded.

Venus Williams and rain are on the schedule as the year's second Grand Slam tournament is set to start at Roland Garros.

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The lengths, if not quality, of those matches were what amounted to on-court intrigue on Day 4 at the clay-court major, because there really was little in the way of stunning outcomes.

Williams, playing Roland Garros for the 21st time, was in no mood for lengthy explanations after her loss.

Another casualty on the first day was eight-time Grand Slam champion, Venus Williams, who fell to No.91-ranked Qiang Wang, who exacted revenge on the older Williams for her 2017 defeat.

Moments later, she was gone, swiftly heading to the locker room.

He sat out the last half of 2017 because of a painful right elbow, tried to return in January, then made a decision to have an operation in February.

Another seeded player has lost in the first round at Roland Garros. The ATP Finals champion leads their head-to-head record 3-2 and would have his hands full against the Serb.

She added: "I'm really disappointed and so angry".

Dimitrov said he only found out he'd be playing Safwat about 20 minutes beforehand.

"I just tried my best", Wang said in a court-side interview, after losing the match on Williams' 35th unforced error. Neither player could hold her first two service games in the second set, and they wound up tied at 3-3.

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