French tennis surrounded by gloom ahead of Roland Garros

Felix Auger Aliassime roland garros 2019

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At her best on hard courts, Osaka said she was learning how to adapt her game to clay, a process helped by a recent trip to the Rafael Nadal Academy in Spain and a meeting with Nadal.

Since Nadal won the first of his 11 French Open titles in 2005 at the age of 19, only two players have managed the feat: Robin Soderling, the Swede who beat Nadal in the fourth round at Roland Garros in 2009 in one of the most astonishing upsets, and Novak Djokovic, who defeated him in the quarter-finals in 2015.

Garbine Muguruza, the 2016 champion, fired down her serve shortly after 11am local time to christen the new court during her first round match against American Taylor Townsend in front of a 75%-filled stadium - a rarity for a French Open curtain raiser. They occupy the top three slots on the list of most men's Grand Slam titles, with Federer's 20 followed by Nadal's 17 and Djokovic's 15. "Roh-zher!" - before and during a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 victory against Lorenzo Sonego of Italy on Sunday.

Asked how he prepared for the French Open, Monfils said bluntly: "I rested".

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The home fans were later given something to cheer on Simonne Mathieu as French veteran Nicolas Mahut fought back from two sets down to dump out last year's surprise semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato. She added a Wimbledon title in 2018 and is now chasing a title at Roland Garros to have the career Grand Slam, though it'll now wait at least another full year.

'First, I'm happy to be here, ' she said before the tournament.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of his one and only Paris triumph and should the 37-year-old defy the odds and clinch the 2019 title he would become the oldest Grand Slam champion of all time. This is not a show I'm putting on; this is the truth: "I really don't know how far I can go in this event".

She was broken in seven of her nine service games during a 6-3, 6-3 loss to No. 9 seed Elina Svitolina.

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"I made a decision to meet with a psychologist and really open up about everything I have been feeling".

Forget did not mention the enigmatic Benoit Paire but the 30-year-old, who has not always seen eye-to-eye with French tennis authority, might be the country's best hope. "It relaxes you on the bigger points maybe or it relaxes you subconsciously as you walk through the grounds and go to practice and go to the press room".

She wrote on Twitter: "In the last six to eight months I have struggled a lot with my confidence on and off the court and also finding joy in what I'm doing for different reasons".

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic were straight-sets winners, but it was anything but plain sailing for Grigor Dimitrov - who squandered a two-set lead before rallying to see off Janko Tipsarevic.

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The stage is set for Federer to play with freedom and in an impressive physical state.

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