Caroline Garcia, France's top player, secured her first-round victory at Roland Garros on Monday, although she had to battle for 2 hours and 38 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier to pull off the win.
Garcia, the No. 5 seed, outlasted China's Wang Xiyu 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4 to win a round for the 10th time in 14 career main-draw appearances at her home major and deny Wang her second career Top 5 win at a major.
"It was just a question of a few points here and there," Garcia told French reporters afterward. "She has lots of things she does well. She has a good game that's very aggressive. I had to keep calm and seize the very few opportunities that I had.
"I'm very happy, very happy about my attitude. I was calm. I was positive. This was something I wasn't really good at in the recent past. I seized these opportunities here and there. It was an incredible atmosphere."
Here are some takeaways from Garcia's win:
Breaks of serve were at a premium: The two players were only each broken twice despite the marathon nature of the match.
Facing Wang for the first time, Garcia was pushed from the start despite breaking serve to begin the match. Wang denied her three chances to extend the lead to 3-1, and the opening set remained on serve from then on. Getting the mini-break that decided the tiebreak on the first point, Garcia eventually took a one-set lead after nearly an hour on the match clock.
Wang, who beat then-No.3 Maria Sakkari at the US Open last summer, got the service break that decided the second set in the third game and Garcia broke her again to win the match. The Frenchwoman previously faced a break point in the decider at 1-1 and 2-2, while Wang erased break point in the fourth game to keep pace.
Garcia's Parisian winning streak: Garcia has won her past eight first-round matches in Paris.
She is the first French woman to be a Top 5 seed at Roland Garros since 2007, when now-tournament director Amelie Mauresmo occupied that rarified air.
Up next: a test? After winning her marathon opener, Garcia has an in-form second-round opponent in the form of Anna Blinkova, the Strasbourg runner-up. Blinkova cruised in a 6-2, 6-0 win over Belgium's Ysaline Bonaventure.
The two have split two previous meetings, but notably, Blinkova was a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 winner over Garcia in the second round at Roland Garros four years ago.