All the key facts and talking points as the second round gets under way at the second Grand Slam of the year.
Alex Macpherson
May 29, 2018

The third quarter of the draw, vacated on the first two days by defending champion Jelena Ostapenko, Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Francesca Schiavone, will see a brand new French Open semifinalist emerge. Of the players remaining in it, the only previous quarterfinalists here are Elina Svitolina (2015, 2017) and Yulia Putintseva (2016); the only previous major semifinalists are Madison Keys (Australian Open 2015, US Open 2017) and Ekaterina Makarova (US Open 2014, Australian Open 2015).

Petra Kvitova is the only player left in the bottom half of the draw who has reached a Roland Garros semifinal before. The Czech, who has extended her current winning streak to 12, lost to Maria Sharapova in the last four in 2012.

Four Frenchwomen have made it to the second round - and at least one is guaranteed in the third round as No.32 seed Alizé Cornet takes on wildcard Pauline Parmentier today. Cornet leads their head-to-head 2-1, including both clay encounters in the 2012 Strasbourg semifinals and first round of Nurnberg in 2013. The other local hopes still standing are No.7 seed Caroline Garcia and wildcard Fiona Ferro, both in the top half of the draw.

Former World No.26 Alexandra Dulgheru is playing her first French Open since 2015 - and will bid to make the third round for the first time since her debut here in 2010 against No.25 seed Anett Kontaveit. The Romanian, who was ranked No.513 this time last year, has suffered chronic knee injuries since 2012; to reach the second round, she has played three sets in all three of her qualifying matches (against Nao Hibino, Lizette Cabrera and Tamara Korpatsch) as well as saving two match points against Christina McHale in the first round.

Two of this year's clay Premier tournament victors are in action today: Madrid champion Petra Kvitova and Rome champion Elina Svitolina. In the Open Era, eight Rome winners have gone on to capture Roland Garros in the same year: Chris Evert in 1974, 1975 and 1980; Stefanie Graf in 1987; Monica Seles in 1990; Maria Sharapova in 2012; and most recently Serena Williams in 2002 and 2013. Since Madrid's inception as a Premier Mandatory tournament in 2009, two players have doubled up in the Spanish capital and Paris: Serena Williams in 2013 and Sharapova in 2014.

Carla Suárez Navarro celebrates reaching the Roland Garros quarterfinals on her tournament debut as a 19-year-old in 2008 (Getty)
Carla Suárez Navarro celebrates reaching the Roland Garros quarterfinals on her tournament debut as a 19-year-old in 2008 (Getty)

Two-time quarterfinalist Carla Suárez Navarro has only lost before the third round once in nine previous appearances in Paris - a first-round defeat at the hands of Olga Govortsova in 2011. Her second-round match against Maria Sakkari today is a reprise of last year's first-round encounter, won by Suárez Navarro 6-4, 6-2.

No.26 seed Barbora Strycova, who snapped an eight-match losing streak with her first-round win over Kurumi Nara, now faces Ekaterina Makarova for the eighth time. The pair first played in 2006, in the first round of the ITF $25,000 event in Gorizia - which remains their only clay meeting to date. Strycova won that match 6-2, 6-2 and leads the overall head-to-head 4-3, including their most recent encounter in the second round of Sydney this year. Roland Garros has historically been both players' worst Slam: Strycova's career record here is just 5-11, while it is the only major at which Makarova has never reached the quarterfinals.

No.25 seed Anett Kontaveit, Zarina Diyas and Maria Sakkari are all going for a maiden appearance in the French Open third round today. All three have previously reached that stage at each of the other Grand Slams.

No.32 seed Mihaela Buzarnescu has a 2-0 record against qualifier Rebecca Peterson, both in the past year - in the quarterfinals of ITF tournaments in Versmold last July and Midland in February. Peterson, who broke the Top 100 for the first time this month, is currently riding a nine-match winning streak that started with a title run at the ITF $100,000 tournament in Cagnes-sur-Mer.

Wang Qiang, who upset No.9 seed Venus Williams in the first round, and Lara Arruabarrena will attempt to break new ground today by making the third round of a major for the first time. Both Wang (who faces Petra Martic) and Arruabarrena (who takes on No.8 seed Petra Kvitova) are 0-6 in Grand Slam second rounds to date; the only active player with a worse record at that stage is Urszula Radwanska, who is 0-9.

TRENDING

À jeudi @rolandgarros 🤩🤩

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READING

Serena Williams's return to Grand Slam action was yesterday's major storyline in Paris - and Bonnie D. Ford breaks down why "the mother of all comebacks" is so compelling for ESPN.com.

Indian Wells finalists Naomi Osaka and Daria Kasatkina, both in action today, represent the "future of the sport" for Alex Sharp at rolandgarros.com.

After Serena Williams's first-round win over Kristyna Pliskova, the 23-time Grand Slam champion and new mother feels she is "on the right track", reports Stephanie Livaudais for wtatennis.com.

WATCHING

One of the best first-round performances came from rising Czech Katerina Siniakova in ousting Victoria Azarenka. Take a look back at highlights here.