Roland Garros Day 1: Links Roundup with Monica Puig, Blaz Kavcic, John Tomic, Piotr Wozniacki

Roland Garros Roundup takes you through the Slam’s hot stories of the day, both on and off court.

  • Gilles Simon sweeps mom off her feet: World No. 18 Gilles Simon rallied from two sets down to take out Lleyton Hewitt in an expectedly drawn out and physically taxing three hour match on a cold and dreary Paris afternoon, to take it 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-5. After squandering a 5-0 lead and two match points in the fifth set, Simon sealed the deal breaking the Aussie in the final game of the match to take it. The relief and happiness expressed by Simon after his win paled in comparison to the reaction of his mother, who Simon kindly offered flowers to following the match. Really, it was the least he could do following the insane amount of stress he must have put her through, especially in the fifth set. Prior to the grueling win, Simon sat down with Eurosport for an exclusive interview, divulging that Roland Garros feels “like a party for everyone.” Wonder if he still feels that way.
  • Pablo Carreño-Busta handily welcomed by Roger Federer: While Roger Federer’s first round match was a straightforward win over the Spanish upstart Pablo Carreño-Busta, the 21-year-old has an impressive game with some recent notable results. Though the Spaniard was very much overwhelmed and outclassed in his grand slam debut, he has recorded 39 straight victories at the futures level with seven titles. And as Tom Perrota of the Wall Street Journal reports, Carreño-Busta is not ready to let this result against Federer hinder his progression and will get back to work in just over a week in Italy.

“It was my first match in a Grand Slam, first match in Roland Garros, first match in center court, and my first match against Roger Federer,” he said. “So it was very nice, but very difficult.”

  • “Pica” Powers over Petrova: 19 year-old Puerto Rican Monica Puig scored a major upset in her first ever grand slam victory, coming back from a set down to take out 11th seed, Nadia Petrova. Puig, who has been nicknamed “Pica” by her followers, has a diminutive stature but she certainly compensates for her lack of size with an abundance of power and potency from the ground. After being down a break at 4-3 in the third set, Puig took matters into her own hands and hit her way through to the finish line, winning the final three games of the match. For those less familiar with Puig, Lindsay Gibbs of The Changeover put together a fabulous piece giving tennis fans a glimpse of the exciting and charming Puerto Rican.
  • Serena Williams marches through: Serena Williams was intent on not having a repeat experience from last year’s French Open where she lost to relative unknown Virginie Razzano in the first round. This time around, she thrashed Anna Tatishvili 6-0, 6-1 in just over 50 minutes in the same round. Despite looking at ease and being in stride throughout the duration of the match, Williams admitted afterward that nerves have sometimes gotten the best of her:

“I’m always a little nervous going into first round matches at Slams. This time I wasn’t as nervous as I was at other Grand Slams, though. But for the most part I felt pretty safe and felt good about my game and that if I just do what I did in practice, I’ll be okay.”

  • Loopholes exposed in John Tomic’s favor: Bernard Tomic takes to the court for his opening round match against Romanian Victor Hanescu Tuesday and shockingly enough, his father, John Tomic will be in attendance. As Will Swanton of The Australian describes, John Tomic will be able to evade the bans imposed by the ATP and the ITF for physically assaulting Tomic’s hitting partner, Thomas Drouet by “entering the grounds as a paying customer.”
  • Piotr Wozniacki decides to stop coaching daughter: In news that many fans will be quite pleased with, Caroline Wozniacki’s father and coach, Piotr, has publically announced his intentions of ending his role as his daughter’s coach. In an article translated from Danish, Piotr laid out his dissatisfaction with his current position saying “I am an adult and I do not want to travel around all the time. I want my own life.” He added that, “This is, of course, not my job. It takes too much energy from me and I become less and less my own person. I do not have friends and contacts, and I do not live the life I want.”

“We don’t want to finish very late in the night. We are not going to do like our American friends with the night sessions (at the U.S. Open) starting late and sometimes never ending. But we do indeed want to have a dedicated night session.”

  •  In case you’re still itching for a forecast for the rest of the fortnight at Roland Garros, the entire Tennis Grandstand team has you covered with elaborate previews and predictions of both the men’s draw and women’s draw.

Check back on Tuesday for more “Roland Garros Roundup”!