For three hours and nineteen minutes, Venus Williams--struggling with lower back pain when she tried to execute her serve--fought Urszula Radwanska today for an opportunity to advance to the second round of the French Open. She fought hard, but Venus without her serve is at a definite disadvantage. Williams also made 66 unforced errors. She broke Radwanska the first time she served for the match, but the young Polish player prevailed 7-6, 6-7, 6-4.
The official French Open site declared Williams the first seed to be upset, which only adds insult to injury when it come to Nadia Petrova, who was the first seed to lose. 11th seed Petrova, who led Monica Puig by a break in the third set, was defeated 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Serena Williams cruised past Anna Tatishvili, who won just one game against the top seed. Williams then addressed the crowd in French, which reminds me--this is a Steve Tignor column that really resonated with me. (Oh, those poor players who actually have to be stuck in Europe--my heart goes out to them.)
Ana Ivanovic needed five match points to win against Petra Martic, and this after she led 5-1 in the second set.
2013 runner-up Sara Errani advanced easily over Arantxa Rus, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (known simply as "Anastasia" on the French Open website's "completed scores" page) had a time of it defeating Andrea Hlavackova, and Sorana Cirstea is also still in the draw. If the mercurial Romanian wins her next match, she is extremely likely to face Serena Williams in the third round.
Both Mallory Burdette and Shelby Rogers won their first-round matches. Burdette is probably going to get Agnieszka Radwanska next, and Rogers will get the winner of the Simona Halep vs. Carla Suarez Navarro match.