PARIS, France -- No.29 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece continued her torrid run through the clay-court season in the first round of Roland Garros on Tuesday, needing just 55 minutes to ease past Anna Tatishvili of the United States, 6-0, 6-1.
Former World No.50 Tatishvili came into this event unranked, having not played a professional match since October of 2017. But even if the American had consistent match play under her belt, she faced a stern task against the Greek star, who came into Paris on a significant upswing.
After this opening win in Paris, Sakkari has gone 13-4 in main draw play on clay this season (15-4 with qualifying wins included), including a semifinal showing at Rome and breaking through for her first WTA singles title in Rabat, beating Johanna Konta in the final.
Nevertheless, Tatishvili acquitted herself well at the start of the match, hanging with her seeded foe in protracted games. Sakkari had to fight very hard in a nearly 10-minute game to earn a break for 2-0, and the Greek needed to stave off three break points to hold for 3-0.
But as the opening set wore on, Sakkari’s incredible form became more evident, as the seeded player started to crack return winners with ease. In fact, Sakkari blasted clean winners off the Tatishvili serve to break for 4-0 and, two games later, to close out the bagel set. Sakkari had 13 winners in the opening frame, while Tatishvili had none.
The American did well to break serve in the opening game of the second set and get on the board, but that was just a minor speed bump for Sakkari as the Greek continued to power groundstrokes through the court for winners. Sakkari did need five match points in her final service game, but eventually closed out the win to book a spot in the second round.
Two relatively recent Roland Garros semifinalists posted mixed results on Tuesday. No.14 seed Madison Keys of the United States, who reached the final four last year before losing to good friend Sloane Stephens, picked up an opening-round victory over Evgeniya Rodina of Russia, 6-1, 6-2.
Keys needed only 56 minutes to get past World No.70 Rodina, avenging a third-round loss to the Russian at Wimbledon last year in their only prior meeting. Keys was in overwhelming form as she crushed 28 winners to just 22 unforced errors during the clash, while Rodina had just four winners and fired 15 unforced errors.
Keys saved the only break point against her during the match, leading to victory and setting up a second-round tilt against Australian wild card Priscilla Hon. Hon earned her first-ever win in a Grand Slam main draw by outlasting lucky loser Timea Babos, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Read more: French Open 2019, Wednesday's Order of Play
2014 semifinalist Eugenie Bouchard, however, was not so fortunate. The Canadian, playing her first match since the Miami Open in March, lost to No.27 seed Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine, 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and five minutes.
Tsurenko, a quarterfinalist at last year's US Open, outwinnered the former World No.5 by 16 to seven, and saved six of the seven break points against her. The Ukrainian moves into the second round in Paris for the third straight year, where she will take on Aleksandra Krunic. Serbia's Krunic advanced into the second round after her opponent, Daria Gavrilova, retired while trailing 6-3, 2-2.
All you need to know is "J'aime Roland-Garros" and "Merci Paris" 😉 https://t.co/44pFh72nbR
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 28, 2019
Elsewhere on Tuesday, the youngsters of the WTA made their marks. In an all-teenage tussle, 17-year-old Iga Swiatek of Poland, last year's junior Wimbledon champion, dispatched 16-year-old French wild card Selena Janicijevic, 6-3, 6-0, in 59 minutes.
Swiatek sets up a second-round meeting with No.16 seed Wang Qiang of China, who overcame her compatriot Zheng Saisai, 6-1, 7-5. Wang is hoping to make the third round of Roland Garros for the second straight season.
Another 17-year-old, Amanda Anisimova of the United States, also moved past a French wild card, easing past Harmony Tan, 6-3, 6-1. Anisimova queues up a highly-intriguing second-round match against No.11 seed Aryna Sabalenka; the American teenager upset Sabalenka in their only previous meeting, a third-round shocker at the Australian Open in January.
In other results, last year's quarterfinalist, No.21 seed Daria Kasatkina of Russia, picked up a 71-minute first-round victory over Italian qualifier Jasmine Paolini, 6-2, 6-3. But No.17 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia was upset, as she fell to wily Czech Karolina Muchova, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
2016 Olympic champion Monica Puig of Puerto Rico was another first-round winner on Tuesday, getting past former Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, 6-1, 7-5.
Also, Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara booked her spot as the second-round opponent of Serena Williams, as she finished off a darkness-interrupted match against Slovenia's Dalila Jakupovic, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3, after two hours and 43 minutes of play spanning two days.