Jabeur bounces back at French Open; Ruud, Gauff and Russian teenager advance


PARIS (AP) — Ons Jabeur got a do-over on Court Philippe Chatrier at the French Open and won this time.

A year after her first-round exit, the No. 7 seed beat Lucia Bronzetti 6-4, 6-1 Tuesday to help erase some bad memories for the Tunisian and answer questions about a recent calf injury.

On his return to Roland Garros after badly damaging an ankle in the semifinals against Rafael Nadal last year, Alexander Zverev also advanced in straight sets.

Jabeur, a crowd favorite in Paris, expressed relief in not repeating last year’s result, where she lost to Magda Linette of Poland.

“I was pretty stressed, I’ve got to say,” Jabeur said. “The most important thing for me was to feel healthy and to move well on the court.”

Now she can focus on trying to win her first major. She was runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year.

Jabeur has been battling injuries. She had knee surgery after the Australian Open, and was then sidelined by a calf injury. She retired injured against top-ranked Iga Swiatek in Stuttgart in late April and pulled out of the Madrid Open.

“It was a very difficult period for me after Stuttgart,” Jabeur said on court, adding she’s beginning to find her rhythm.

Jabeur struck 27 winners to Bronzetti’s seven, though with 24 unforced errors she has room to improve.

“I feel 100% fit. I need to have more matches under my belt to gain confidence,” she said.

Zverev, the No. 22 seed in Paris, defeated Lloyd Harris 7-6 (6), 7-6 (0), 6-1 and improved his unbeaten record against the South African to 4-0. Zverev has been struggling to get back to his best since he retired in pain against Nadal and later underwent surgery, but he has shown progress recently.

Also Tuesday, 2021 champion Barbora Krejcikova lost her opening match at the French Open for the second straight year. The 13th-seeded Czech exited the tournament after losing to Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-2, 6-4.

At 16 years old, qualifier Mirra Andreeva of Russia had a memorable Grand Slam debut by dominating Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-2, 6-1. Andreeva’s older sister — 18-year-old Erika — faced Emma Navarro late in the day.

No. 6 seed Coco Gauff stumbled early but got past Rebeka Masarova 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the first round.

Later, Swiatek was to get her title defense started against Cristina Bucsa, who was ranked 70th.

Two other women’s seeds lost: No. 25 Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine lost to wild card Diane Parry of France 6-2, 6-3; and No. 31 Marie Bouzkova fell to Chinese player Xinyu Wang 6-4, 7-6 (5).

On the men’s side, No. 4 seed Casper Ruud beat qualifier Elias Ymer 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, to remind the higher-profile tournament favorites that he was runner-up to Nadal last year at Roland Garros.

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