The first round of the French Open saw defending semifinalist Kiki Bertens suffering a huge scare against the resurgent Ajla Tomljanovic, triumphing in three sets after losing the first. It was truly an impressive performance put up by the 18th seed, who looks to be on course for yet another deep run here in Paris.
Tomljanovic steals the first set
Bertens had the perfect start to the match as three straight unforced errors from Tomljanovic set up a game point for the Dutch before the higher-ranked player hit a powerful forehand winner to seal the opening game. Tomljanovic then comfortably held her opening service game to level the scores before earning the lead as Bertens started to commit a couple of unforced errors, gifting Tomljanovic the early lead.
Falling behind 0-30 initially, the Australian then relied on the errors from the 18th seed as she managed to consolidate the break for a two-game advantage. With a couple of strong serves, Bertens finally managed to stop the rout and hold her serve to prevent herself from lagging further behind on the scoreboard. Tomljanovic then endured a tough game in which Bertens threatened to break serve but was unable to find a break point opportunity, allowing the Australian to hold onto the lead.
Tomljanovic soon found herself just one game away from winning the first set after having yet another comfortable service hold, but Bertens kept herself in the set for at least one more game after hitting two consecutive aces to hold her serve. Serving for the set, Tomljanovic managed to hold her serve and be halfway to a huge upset as Bertens continued to look wobbly in her baseline game.
Bertens fights back
Looking to make a comeback, Bertens made the perfect start to the second set as she had a comfortable hold of service in the opening game. The Dutch then finally found her first break point of the match after coming from 30-15 down to do so, taking the early 2-0 lead in the set. Serving with precision, the defending semifinalist consolidated the break and extended her lead to three games, looking very comfortable on the clay courts as she managed to lessen the number of unforced errors she was hitting.
Tomljanovic finally got herself onto the scoreboard as she easily held her service to love and lessened the deficit. From then, Bertens only played better and better while Tomljanovic was constantly being outhit by the Dutch, with the higher-ranked player eventually strolling to win the second set 6-1 after just a mere 23 minutes.
Bertens seals the win
The final set was much of a similar story to the second set as Bertens ran out to an early lead, playing some world-class offensive style of tennis. The Dutch broke serve in the opening game, before consolidating the break to lead by two games. Four consecutive forehand errors then saw Tomljanovic throw away another of her service game, causing her to go down a double break deficit.
The Australian had to wait until the fifth game of the deciding set to put herself on the scoreboard after Bertens’ forehand looked a little shaky, gifting Tomljanovic a consolation game. Without any problems, the 18th seed eventually closed out the victory after just a mere 1 hour and 31 minutes. Winning 84% of first serve points, Bertens had to thank her consistent serving for the win today.