Sunday, September 27, 2020

Teens Gauff, Sinner oust seeds as French Open begins

Coco Gauff, a 16-year-old American making her French Open
main-draw debut, surprised ninth-seeded Johanna Konta, a semi-
finalist at Roland Garros last year, 6-3, 6-3 today in the opening
round. 2018 photo courtesy of JFS Communications
   Two teenagers pulled off upsets today as the French Open began in Paris.
   Coco Gauff, a 16-year-old American phenom making her Roland Garros main-draw debut, dismissed ninth-seeded Johanna Konta, a French Open semifinalist last year, 6-3, 6-3.
   Konta, an Australia native who plays for Great Britain, won the first of her three WTA singles titles in the now-defunct Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2016.
   Jannik Sinner, a 19-year-old Italian competing in the French Open for the first time, outclassed Belgium's David Goffin, the 11th seed and a quarterfinalist at Roland Garros in 2016, 7-5, 6-0, 6-3 in the first match ever played under the roof on Court Philippe Chatrier.
   Sinner, who won 11 consecutive games from 5-5 in the first set to 3-0 in the third set, beat Goffin for the second time this year. Sinner also stunned sixth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round of last week's Italian Open.
   Gauff, the French Open girls singles champion at 14 in 2018, and Sinner, who reached the second round of last year's Aptos (Calif.) Challenger one week after winning the Lexington (Ky.) crown, will face qualifiers in the second round.
   Gauff, ranked No. 51, will meet 5-foot-3 (1.60-meter) Martina Trevisan, a 26-year-old left-hander from Italy. Sinner, ranked No. 75, will play Benjamin Bonzi, 24, of France.
   Also falling today were 17th-seeded Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, 24th-seeded Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine, 25th-seeded Alex de Minaur of Australia and 32nd-seeded Daniel Evans of Great Britain.
   France's Caroline Garcia, formerly ranked No. 4, topped Kontaveit, who reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal in this year's Australian Open, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
   Daria Gavrilova, a Moscow-born Australian playing her second tournament after a one-year layoff, surprised the 20-year-old Yastremska 6-4, 6-3. 
   Italy's Marco Cecchinato, a French Open semifinalist in 2018, eliminated the 21-year-old de Minaur, who advanced to his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal in the recent U.S. Open, 7-6 (9), 6-4, 6-0.
   Former world No. 4 Kei Nishikori, who had elbow surgery last October, outlasted Evans 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-4 in a 3-hour, 49-minute battle of diminutive players.
   Meanwhile, 16th-seeded Stan Wawrinka overwhelmed Andy Murray 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 in 97 minutes in a matchup of three-time Grand Slam singles champions in their 30s rebounding from multiple surgeries.
   Murray won the first of his 46 tour-level singles titles in the now-defunct SAP Open in San Jose, Calif., at 18 in 2006 and repeated the following year.
   Sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev, the U.S. Open runner-up, beat Dennis Novak of Austria 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.
   Argentina's Diego Schwartzman, seeded 12th, whipped Miomir Kecmanovic, 21, of Serbia 6-0, 6-1, 6-3 in 1 hour, 47 minutes.
   Schwartzman, only 5-foot-7 (1.70 meters) and 141 pounds (64 kilograms), shocked Rafael Nadal in the Italian Open quarterfinals en route to his first Masters 1000 final.
   Top-seeded Simona Halep, playing on her 29th birthday, outplayed Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain 6-4, 6-0 for her 15th straight victory. Halep won the first of her two Grand Slam singles titles in the 2018 French Open.

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