The Latest: Venus Williams loses in straight sets in Paris
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the French Open (all times local):
Venus Williams’ 22nd appearance at the French Open did not last long.
The 2002 runner-up lost her opening match at Roland Garros for the second year in a row, beaten 6-3, 6-3 by ninth-seeded Elina Svitolina in 1 hour, 13 minutes.
The 38-year-old Williams lost in the first round for the fourth time in the last seven years at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament.
Wiliams was broken in seven of her nine service games.
A year after upsetting Novak Djokovic in a stunning run to the semifinals, Marco Cecchinato is out after the first round.
French wild card Nicolas Mahut came back from two sets down in a 2-6, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over the 16th-seeded Italian.
It was the first men’s match on the new Court Simonne Mathieu and Mahut seemed to thrive off the support from the home fans.
Playing his first match at Roland Garros since 2015, Roger Federer had no problem reaching the second round of the French Open.
Back on the refurbished Court Philippe Chatrier on the opening day of the clay-court event, the 20-time Grand Slam champion defeated French Open debutant Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
Federer missed the French Open in 2016 because of a back injury and then skipped the event to focus on Wimbledon. He won the title in Paris 10 years ago to complete a career Grand Slam.
“I missed you, thanks very much for the welcome,” Federer said to the crowd after concluding his match. “I was quite tense at the start.”
Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime has pulled out of the French Open because of an injury.
Organizers said the No. 25-seeded player has pain in his left abductor muscle and will be replaced in the main draw by Spanish lucky loser Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
Auger-Aliassime is ranked a career-high 28th and reached the Lyon Open final this week.
Angelique Kerber won’t complete a career Grand Slam this year.
The three-time Grand Slam winner lost in the first round of the French Open on Sunday, beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Anastasia Potapova on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Kerber’s preparations for Roland Garros, where she never advanced past the quarterfinals, were hampered by a right ankle injury she suffered at the Madrid Open.
The 81st-ranked Potapova sealed the opening set with a crosscourt backhand winner and broke twice at the start of the second. Kerber saved two match points before shanking a forehand wide sealing her fate.
Kerber, the No.5-seeded woman in Paris, won the Australian Open and US Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2018.
Tennis and tropical plants, an incongruous mix beautifully blended on the new Court Simonne Mathieu at Roland Garros.
The airy, sunken arena with two tiers of seating and surrounded on all four sides by steamy tropical greenhouses saw its first match on the opening day of the 2019 tournament.
Set amid historic greenhouses, the arena had a difficult birth because of initial fierce opposition to its construction.
But the finished result is a triumph of taste and splendid architecture, with the glass and steel structure blending seamlessly into its surroundings.
About half of the seats were occupied for the first match, with former champion Garbine Muguruza facing Taylor Townsend.
French Open organizers say American player Sam Querrey has withdrawn from the clay-court Grand Slam tournament.
Querrey, who was set to take on Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez in the first round, has been replaced in the main draw by lucky loser Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland.
A Wimbledon semifinalist in 2017, the 62nd-ranked Querrey cited an abdominal problem as the reason for his withdrawal.
The year’s second Grand Slam is underway.
Under sunny skies, former No. 1 Angelique Kerber lost the first two games to 81st-ranked Anastasia Potapova in the opening match on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that Kerber has never won.
On Court Suzanne Lenglen, 11th-seeded Marin Cilic is facing Thomas Fabbiano.
Also, 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza is up against 96th-ranked American Taylor Townsend in the first match at the tournament’s newest stadium, Court Simonne Mathieu.
Roger Federer is in action on the opening day of the French Open.
Returning to play at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015, Federer opens against 73rd-ranked Lorenzo Sonego in the third match on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Also Sunday, 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza faces 96th-ranked American Taylor Townsend in the first match at the tournament’s newest stadium, Court Simonne Mathieu.
Sixth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Federer at the Australian Open, plays Maximilian Marterer.
Others in action include: seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori; last year’s semifinalist Marc Cecchinato; last week’s Italian Open champion Karolina Pliskova, Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens.
The French Open is the only one of the four Grand Slam tournaments to begin on a Sunday.