Sinner, Hurkacz Ease Through Roland Garros Openers
Jannik Sinner and Hubert Hurkacz enjoyed smooth starts to their Roland Garros campaigns with a pair of straightforward, straight-sets victories on Tuesday. The 11th-seeded Sinner cruised past American Bjorn Fratangelo, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3, shortly after 12th seed Hurkacz defeated Italian qualifier Giulio Zeppieri, 7-5, 6-2, 7-5.
Playing on Court 7, Sinner extended his perfect record to 3-0 in the first round in Paris. The Italian reached the quarter-finals on debut in 2020 and followed that up with a fourth-round run last year, losing to 13-time champion Rafael Nadal both times. He's now 8-2 at Roland Garros, his best mark at a Grand Slam both in terms of match wins and win percentage.
The 20-year-old controlled the contest against Fratangelo with early breaks in all three sets, firing a forehand winner — one of his 32 total winners — to edge ahead in the opener. He was particularly dominant on first serve, winning 80 per cent (37/46) of those points, and erased the only two break points he faced midway through the final set as his opponent mounted a last-gasp comeback attempt.
Bolstered by passionate fan support, Sinner advanced in the draw's bottom quarter to face Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena, who defeated Oscar Otte, 7-6(5), 6-1, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3. Looking ahead to the third round, he could meet 22nd seed Nikoloz Basilashvili or another American in Mackenzie McDonald.
FOLLOW THIS WEEK'S ACTION
Hurkacz did not face a break point on Court 6 against Zeppieri and converted on five of his 11 break chances. The Pole broke in three of four return games from 5-all in the opening set to take command of the match. His dominance on serve was demonstrated by a 78 per cent win rate on first serve (40/51) and an even better 83 per cent mark on second serve (25/30). Hurkacz served out each set to love and finished the contest with a clean 36-to-16 winners-to-errors count.
Playing in the third quarter of the draw, which is headed by fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, Hurkacz awaits Marco Cecchinato in the second round after the Italian outlasted Pablo Andujar, 4-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5, 6-0. Should he advance to the third round, he would face either 24th seed Frances Tiafoe or David Goffin.
The Pole was a quarter-finalist at the clay ATP Masters 1000s in Monte Carlo and Madrid this season and reached the semis in his title defence at the Miami Masters 1000 event and in Dubai. But he has never been beyond the second round at Roland Garros, his progress this year matching his previous best Paris result in 2018. Hurkacz's best Grand Slam showing was a semi-final run last year at Wimbledon; he has not been beyond the second round at any of the other three majors.