Christophe Ena/Associated Press
Tuesday was far from a routine day at the 2020 French Open for a majority of the top players in the men’s and women’s singles draws.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Karolina Pliskova and Sofia Kenin all dropped sets before recovering to earn first-round victories.
The struggles of Tsitsipas and Rublev may be linked to a small window between their final in Hamburg Sunday and their arrivals in Paris.
Pliskova and Kenin were two of the luckier seeded players in the women’s draw, as another string of upsets ravaged the list of ranked women remaining at Roland Garros.
After three days of first-round play, 12 of the 32 women’s seeds are out of the tournament. Eleven seeded men were knocked out as well.
Top Men’s Results
No. 1 Novak Djokovic def. Mikael Ymer, 6-0, 6-2, 6-3
No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Jaume Munar, 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
No. 7 Matteo Berrettini def. Vasek Pospisil, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3
No. 9 Denis Shapovalov def. Gilles Simon, 6-2, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3
No. 10 Roberto Bautista Agut def. Richard Gasquet, 7-6 (7), 6-2, 6-1
No. 13 Andrey Rublev def. Sam Querrey, 6-7 (7), 6-7 (7), 7-5, 6-4, 6-3
No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov def. Gregoire Barrere, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
No. 20 Cristian Garin def. Philipp Kohlschreiber, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
No. 22 Dusan Lajovic def. Gianluca Mager, 6-4, 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-1
Thiago Monteiro def. No. 31 Nikoloz Basilashvili, 7-5, 6-4, 6-2
Tsitsipas and Rublev looked like they were going to suffer the same fate as Daniil Medvedev, Gael Monfils and David Goffin after their first two sets.
The No. 5 and No. 13 seeds found a way to turn around their respective matches to survive an unpredictable first three days on the clay.
Tsitsipas flipped his match with Jaume Munar in the third set by converting both of his break-point opportunities and winning 14 of 17 points on his first serve.
The fifth-seeded Greek player went on to win 32 of the 45 points on first serve in the final two sets to put Munar under pressure and advance to play Pablo Cuevas in the second round.
Rublev found himself in a much more precarious position in the third set against Sam Querrey, as he was down 2-5.
The No. 13 seed stayed alive by winning five consecutive games, two of which were on breaks of serve, to put the momentum on his side.
In the fourth and fifth sets, Rublev did not allow Querrey to earn a single break-point opportunity, while he won three games off the American’s serve.
Tsitsipas and Rublev could pose the biggest challenges to Novak Djokovic in the top half of the bracket.
Djokovic cruised to a straight-set win over Mikael Ymer, but the No. 1 overall seed did not produce the highlight of the match.
Ymer delivered a beautiful in-between-the-legs winner after Djokovic drew him to the net with a drop shot.
Djokovic does not have to face Rafael Nadal or Dominic Thiem before the final, but Tsitsipas, Rublev, Matteo Berrettini and Denis Shapovalov could emerge as a worthy challenger from the top half.
Berrettini had an easy afternoon on court by losing only five games to Vasek Pospisil, while Shapovalov knocked out Gilles Simon in four sets.
Top Women’s Results
No. 2 Karolina Pliskova def. Mayar Sherif, 6-7 (11), 6-2, 6-4
No. 4 Sofia Kenin def. Liudmila Samsonova, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
No. 8 Aryna Sabalenka def. Jessica Pegula, 6-3, 6-1
No. 14 Elena Rybakina def. Sorana Cirstea, 6-0, 6-3
Julia Goerges def. No. 19 Alison Riske, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-1
Clara Tauson def. No. 21 Jennifer Brady, 6-4, 3-6, 9-7
Irina Bara def. No. 26 Donna Vekic, 6-3, 6-4
No. 29 Sloane Stephens def. Vitalia Diatchenko, 6-2, 6-2
No. 30 Ons Jabeur def. Zarina Diyas, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Pliskova’s first-set loss was one of the most shocking developments during Tuesday’s play that included three more upsets in the women’s draw.
Pliskova fell in a first-set tiebreak to Egyptian qualifier Mayar Sherif, who became the first player from her country to participate in a women’s Grand Slam draw.
The No. 2 seed gained control of the match in the second set by sweeping her three break-point opportunities and taking 10 of 12 points on first serve.
Sofia Kenin went through some similar difficulties in her opening match, as she dropped the middle set to Luidmila Samsonova.
The 2020 Australian Open winner rebounded with a strong third set in which she won 12 of her 24 receiving points.
Tuesday was an up-and-down day for the American contingent in the women’s draw since Alison Riske and Jennifer Brady were both eliminated.
Brady’s departure from Roland Garros may have been the most shocking result of the day since she was coming off a semifinal appearance at the U.S. Open.
Brady’s loss should open up an easier path to the fourth round for Garbine Muguruza, who may be in line for a fourth-round showdown with Aryna Sabalenka.
Sabalenka finished off Tuesday’s on-court action with an easy two-set triumph over American Jessica Pegula.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from RolandGarros.com.