PARIS -- Round 1 at Roland Garros is in the books. Five seeds have bowed out, with the bottom half of the draw taking the brunt of the damage and losing four: defending champion Barbora Krejcikova, No.5 Anett Kontaveit, No.6 Ons Jabeur and No.10 Garbiñe Muguruza.

Donna Vekic on the mend

It's a good thing Donna Vekic wasn't sitting down for an interview with the press two weeks ago. The 25-year-old Croatian, who hit a career-high ranking of No.19 in 2019, is working her way back from injuries that have sidelined her for most of the past six months. 

Now ranked No.100, Vekic had to qualify for Roland Garros, which she did with three good wins against Robin Anderson, Louisa Chirico and Anastasia Gasanova, before snapping a three-match losing streak at the majors in the first round. 

"The thing is, when you're injured for a while and you start coming back and things don't go the way you want them to go, you start questioning yourself a lot," Vekic said. "Am I ever going to get back to that level again? When you start getting those wins, you think 'Oh, maybe I will.' 

"Going through qualifying here, I would say it's one of my greatest career achievements. Passing through qualies is probably the hardest thing ever. Way back, I lost two times in the last round of qualies. So I never qualified. I know how difficult it is."

Vekic underwent knee surgery at the start of the 2021 season, but as she came back to the tour she found the injury had led to some collateral damage. 

"After Courmayeur [in October] last year, I had a tear in my plantar fascia because I've been playing the whole year with pain in my knee because of the surgery. I had pain in my left foot because of overcompensating. Then when that healed and I started practicing again, I hurt my right knee again. 

"After Australia, I said I can't deal with the pain anymore. So I had to start from zero. I did a couple of treatments for my knee again and really rehab from the beginning and take three months off. That was really depressing."

Photo by Jimmie48/WTA

Vekic returned to competition in March in Marbella, where she lost 6-0, 6-1 to Ana Bogdan. "I definitely went back to tournaments too early," Vekic said. "I got killed. It wasn't my happiest moment out there but I was just happy to be able to play pain-free. I was still not able to go for all the shots, but I was able to play matches."

For now, Vekic sees the remainder of the 2022 season as a building block for next year.

"I just want to play as many matches as I can this season and build for the next one, to try to get back to my level again and to stay pain-free. I'm definitely far from being fit."

It's an uphill climb for Vekic, but after a handful of solid wins under her belt, she's trying to keep things positive.

"If you asked me two weeks ago I would have told you I was going to quit tennis. It's amazing what a couple of wins can do for a tennis player." 

The French are flying

Led by Alizé Cornet, five Frenchwomen have advanced to the second round for the first time since 2017. The biggest headlines belonged to 19-year-old Diane Parry, a former Junior No.1, who played a cool, veteran match to oust defending champion Barbora Krejcikova. Caroline Garcia, playing in her first clay match of the season, 2020 girls' champion Elsa Jacquemot and No.227 Leolia Jeanjean round out the home hopes.

Jeanjean has enjoyed a circuitous route to becoming the lowest-ranked player in the second round. Ranked No.227, the 26-year-old received a wildcard into the main draw on her home Slam. Her first-round match against Nuria Parrizas Diaz was not only her Slam debut but her first tour-level main-draw match. Jeanjean, who started her collegiate career at Baylor and the University of Arkansas, was a collegiate standout at Lynn University, where she went undefeated in singles and doubles in 2019.  

Jelena Ostapenko overcoming injury woes

Jelena Ostapenko snapped her five-match losing streak with a dominating 6-1, 6-4 win against Lucia Bronzetti. Afterward, the 2017 champion revealed she had been dealing with a wrist injury since Miami. 

"Rome and Madrid was tough after injury, first tournaments, you feel like you still have pain but you don't really have pain. It's more mental. So it needs some time to get rid of those thoughts, because I felt like in the practice I was playing really well. I was playing many points against good girls, and I was winning most of them.

"So I felt like I have to bring this tennis to the tournament."

Stats of the Round

4: Top 10 seeds to bow out in the opening round: No.2 Barbora Krejcikova, No.5 Anett Kontaveit, No.6 Ons Jabeur, and No.10 Garbiñe Muguruza.

54: Minutes it took for Iga Swiatek, Paula Badosa and Daria Kasatkina to notch their opening wins, the shortest length of a completed match in the first round.

2: Points lost by Paula Badosa in the second set of her 6-2, 6-0 win over Fiona Ferro. 

48: Winners struck by Linda Noskova in her tour debut. The 17-year-old Czech lost in three sets to Emma Raducanu. 

10: Aces hit by Ons Jabeur in her opening round, the most of anyone in the field. The Madrid champion lost in three sets to Poland's Magda Linette. 

3: Consecutive Slams in which Lesia Tsurenko successfully qualified and drew the World No.1 in the first round. 

15: Top 10 wins recorded by Kaia Kanepi in her career, with her 15th coming against Muguruza in Paris. Ten of those wins have come at the Slams. 

7: Players who went unbroken through Round 1: Tamara Zidansek, Zheng Qinwen, Martina Trevisan, Daria Kasatkina, Alizé Cornet and Paula Badosa. Neither Trevisan nor Badosa faced a single break point.

2: Players who led the field in return games won through Round 1: Iga Swiatek and Belinda Bencic both broke serve in six of seven return games (86%).

3: Number of times 10 or more American women advanced to the second round at Roland Garros in the past 10 years. This year, 10 have advanced.

Best Quote

Q: Do you have the impression that you have looped the loop today? When you say I went to study and I was sure to come back, were you really sure to come back?

Leolia Jeanjean: "I wasn't sure to come back at that level, but I still wanted to play tennis on the tour after my studies. As I always said, it's something I have loved forever, and I didn't want to have regrets after my choices. So when I finished my studies, I said, 'OK, go back on the tour.' If it's successful, great news. If it's not, well, at least I will have tried as I wanted to.

So the loop is not looped yet, because the loop will be looped when I will have played the four Grand Slams and when I will have reached the objectives I have had ever since I was young."