The highest ranked Ashley Barty overcame a strong challenge from the American Bernarda Perra to win her first match at Roland Garros since claiming the title of the French Open in 2019.
Barty played with his left thigh bandaged and struggled before receiving medical attention at the start of the deciding set. Barty improved and eventually took full advantage of Pera’s lack of consistency to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Barty played 13 matches on clay in the French Open, winning 11. But she was forced to retire in the quarterfinals in Rome due to an injury to her right arm.
“I just keep fighting, I just keep trying,” Barty said.
Barty won in Paris two years ago and decided not to defend his title last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The inexperience of the teenage wild card Ocean Babel was too great to overcome in his debut at Roland Garros.
Facing fifth-placed Elina Svitolina, the 17-year-old Frenchwoman led 5-2 in the second set, but eventually lost 6-2, 7-5 to Courté Philippe Chatrie.
Babel has not played a WTA match before. Svitolina said it was also a challenge for her, as she knew nothing about Babel.
“I just knew she was left-handed and I had to be ready for anything,” she said.
Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady passed Anastasia Sevastova to reach the second round and respond to her best performance at the French Open.
The 13th American, who never reached the third round of Roland Garros, won 6-3, 6-3 after beating the final Sevastova in love.
Brady is not a clay specialist. Last year, she played only one tournament on the surface, losing her opening game at Roland Garros. She achieved her best clay score earlier this season when she qualified for the third round in Madrid in the run-up to the French Open.