Heading into the 2020 French Open in Roland Garros, Serena Williams was obviously a contender. You just expect that from the greatest women’s tennis player of all-time. However, Williams was not at 100%. She initially suffered an injury to her Achilles during the United States Open earlier this month. Williams won her first round match, a 7-6, 6-0 win over American Kristie Ahn, but on Wednesday, she withdrew from her match against Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria.
Like Williams, Pironkova is a mother on the women’s tennis tour. She previously reached the final four of Wimbledon in 2010, and at the U.S. Open, Pironkova reached the quarterfinals for the first time in her career, where ironically, she lost 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to Willliams.
In women’s singles play, there are five American women left in the draw. They are 25th-ranked Amanda Anisimova of Aventura, FL, Danielle Collins of St. Petersburg, FL, Christina McHale of Englewood Cliffs, NJ, fourth-ranked Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, FL, and 29th-ranked Sloane Stephens of Plantation, FL. Kenin and Stephens are major champions in the past. Kenin won the Australian Open in 2020, while Stephens won the 2017 U.S. Open. All four won their first round match, and can get to round three on Thursday.
On the men’s side, there are also four Americans left, however two players have already qualified for round three. The biggest story has been the play of 20-year-old Sebastian Korda of Bradenton, FL, who is in the third round as a qualifier. So far Korda has beaten Italian veteran Andreas Seppi 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the first round, and then stunned American giant and 21st ranked John Isner 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the second round. In the third round, Korda will play another qualifier, in Pedro Martinez of Spain.
Korda is joined in the third round by 27th seed Taylor Fritz of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Meanwhile, Marcos Giron of Thousand Oaks, CA, and Tennys Sandgren of Gallatin, TN have reached round two. Sandgren has knocked out a seeded player, as in the first round he upset 29th-ranked Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, 7-5, 2-6, 4-6, 7-6, 11-9 in a five set thriller. Remember in the French Open, you still have to win by two games in the deciding set to win the match.