No.7 seed Ons Jabeur navigated a tricky Roland Garros first round in style, overcoming Lucia Bronzetti 6-4, 6-1 in 70 minutes.
Here are the key takeaways from the Tunisian's opening victory at the only major where she has yet to reach the quarterfinals.
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Jabeur appears fully recovered from her calf injury: The Tunisian's preparations for the second major of the year were marred by a "small tear" in her left calf that forced her to retire in the Stuttgart semifinals and pull out of Madrid, where she was defending champion. On returning to action in Rome three weeks ago, her movement was visibly hampered in an opening loss to Paula Badosa.
But ahead of Roland Garros, Jabeur stated that she was "definitely 100%" -- and so it proved when she took the court.
No.65-ranked Bronzetti was in hot form after capturing her first Hologic WTA Tour title in Rabat last week, and the Italian tested Jabeur out early with a fine drop shot winner in the first game. But it wasn't a weakness that could be exploited for long. Jabeur looked thoroughly comfortable during the longest and most punishing baseline exchanges of the match, coming out on top of half of the rallies that lasted nine or more shots.
Jabeur exhibited both finesse and scoreboard management: The first set saw a series of trademark Jabeur hot shots, drawing gasps from the crowd on Court Philippe-Chatrier. There was a drop shot winner straight off the return; and another dropshot hit with so much spin that it bounced back into the net. There was even a drop shot fake-out, where Jabeur shaped up for another dropper before pushing a deep sliced winner beyond an advancing Bronzetti.
But at 5-1 up, the shot stopped working for the 28-year-old. She failed to serve the set out at the first time of asking after two attempts at it bounced before her own side of the net.
In response, Jabeur abandoned the tactic and went back to basics. A straightforward series of big serves captured the set at the second time of asking, and Jabeur did not attempt another drop shot for several games as she took a 5-0 second-set lead.
The artist in her couldn't resist bringing it back out for another flourish, though. She conjured two more drop shot winners in the final game, taking her total to 16 overall, en route to breaking Bronzetti for the victory.
Jabeur will next face France's Dodin: Jabeur is used to being a crowd favorite wherever she goes. But in the second round, that won't necessarily be the case. She'll face No.122-ranked Oceane Dodin, who won a seesaw all-French derby over wild card Selena Janicijevic 0-6, 6-2, 6-1. That result reversed Dodin's 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 loss to Janicijevic in the first round of Strasbourg last week, and was her first Grand Slam main-draw win since the 2017 US Open.
Dodin will be bidding to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time, having lost all five of her previous second rounds. The 26-year-old will be facing Jabeur for the first time.