Monday, May 27, 2019

Serena rallies for first-round win in French Open

   No. 10 seed Serena Williams, a part-time Silicon Valley resident, defeated Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 today in the first round of the French Open in Paris.
   Diatchenko ousted 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova in the first round at the All England Club last year.
   Williams played only her second match since March after struggling with a knee injury. The three-time French Open champion (2002, 2013 and 2015) will play the winner of Tuesday's match between Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia and qualifier Kurumi Nara of Japan.
   In the men's draw, No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic and No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal won in straight sets. Djokovic -- the champion in 2016 and runner-up in 2012, 2014 and 2015 -- is scheduled to play lucky loser Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland on Wednesday.
   Laaksonen, the doubles runner-up in the $100,000 Fairfield (Calif.) Challenger with Harri Heliovaara of Finland last October, replaced Sam Querrey, a 31-year-old San Francisco native who withdrew with an abdominal injury.
   Querrey has not played since reaching the semifinals of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston in early April.
   No. 21 seed Alex de Minaur of Australia beat Bradley Klahn, a 28-year-old Stanford graduate, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
   Mackenzie McDonald, a 24-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, is scheduled to make his French Open main-draw debut against Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan on Tuesday at 2 a.m. PDT.  The winner likely will meet eighth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, a two-time French Open semifinalist.

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