By Andrea Lubinsky
American women went undefeated, winning all ten of their matches in the first two days of the French Open. This statistic is impressive on its own. Any country would be thrilled to have ten players in the second round. However, considering that most Americans don’t favor the clay, and add in some pretty big wins from young up and comers, this was a rather surprising turn of events.
Perhaps the biggest upset of the day on the women’s side came in the form of Bethanie Mattek-Sands straight sets victory over 12th seed, Sabine Lisicki. Lisicki has never been the picture of consistency due to various injuries, but either way, this was an excellent win for Mattek-Sands to set up a second round 19 year-old Sloane Stephens, who also had a very impressive performance, beating Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets. Teenager Lauren Davis served up two breadstick sets (6-1, 6-1) against the 30th seed, Mona Barthel, which sets up another American vs American second round as she will face off against Christina McHale. This guarantees the Americans at least two women in the third round, but possibly several more.
Other notable wins came from Melanie Oudin who has been struggling, Vavara Lepchenko, who was down match points against Ksenia Pervak, and Christina McHale who toughed out Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in three sets. Vania King, Irina Falconi, Alexa Glatch, and Venus Williams rounded out the two day domination, all winning their first round encounters. Interestingly, based on the first set, it looked like Williams could have been the first to falter. Down 6-4 to Paula Ormaechea of Argentina, it looked like Venus may have been half way out the door, but being the veteran that she is, Williams cruised in the second set, winning 6-1, before comfortably closing out the match 6-3 in the third.
Looking ahead, the US ladies won’t have much time to celebrate as several of them will face off against very difficult opponents in the second round. Perhaps one of the most anticipated matches when the draw was released, Venus Williams will compete against No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska for a spot in the third round. Irina Falconi also faces an uphill battle as she will play 2010 finalist and reigning US Open champion, Samantha Stosur in the second round. Unfortunately for the Americans, Oudin, Glatch, Lepchenko, and King will all also face seeded opponents in round two.
If the ladies are aiming to make it a truly perfect first round, Serena Williams and Jamie Hampton will also have to score wins in their matches on Tuesday.