There has been some criticism toward the state of American tennis in recent years. However, as we move towards the second round on Wednesday, 19 Americans won their first round match in the world’s toughest test on clay. Seven American men advanced, as well as a dozen American women.
Of the seven American men off to round two, three are seeded. They are 30th ranked Taylor Fritz of San Diego, CA, 31st ranked John Isner of Greensboro, NC, and 32nd ranked Reilly Opelka of St. Joseph, MI. Meanwhile, the others are Steve Johnson of Orange, CA, Marcos Giron of Thousand Oaks, CA, Mackenzie McDonald of Orlando, FL, and Tommy Paul of Voorhees Township, NJ.
The most notable wins came from Giron and Paul. Giron upset three-time Grand Slam semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, the 16th seed, when Dimitrov had to pull out due to a back injury. Paul beat Christopher O’Connell 10-8 in the fifth set.
Of the dozen American women off to round two, six were seeded. They were fourth-ranked Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, FL, seventh-ranked Serena Williams of Saginaw, MI, 13th-ranked Jennifer Brady of Harrisburg, PA, 23rd-ranked Madison Keys of Rock Island, IL, 24th-ranked Coco Gauff of Delray Beach, FL, and 28th-ranked Jessica Pegula of Buffalo, NY. The six unseeded Americans in round two are Sloane Stephens of Plantation, FL, Varvara Lepchenko of Allentown, PA, Ann Li of King of Prussia, PA, Hailey Baptiste of Washington, D.C., Danielle Collins of St. Petersburg, FL, and Madison Brengle of Dover, DE.
Williams at 39 years of age, is a three-time French Open champion. She previously won in 2002, 2003, and 2015. A victory at Roland Garros will mean she will tie Margaret Court’s record for the most grand slam victories all-time. Court currently has 24 victories, while Williams is at 23.
In other tennis news, there have been two notable withdraws on the women’s side. Naomi Osaka of Japan withdrew due to mental health issues, and Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic fell and hurt her ankle in the press conference area.