French Open at a glance - day 3

·4-min read
Back with a bang: Barty won her first Roland Garros match since lifting the 2019 title

French Open at a glance - day 3:

Headlines

+ Osaka pullout stirs mental health debate

+ Nadal starts bid for 21st Slam title with comfortable win

+ Djokovic eases through in night match

+ World number one Barty battles into second round

+ Rublev knocked out by Struff in five sets

Top results

Rafael Nadal (ESP x3) bt Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)

Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Tennys Sandgren (USA) 6-2, 6-4, 6-2

Ashleigh Barty (AUS x1) bt Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) bt Andrey Rublev (RUS x7) 6-3, 7-6 (8/6), 4-6, 3-6, 6-4

Sidelines

Cecchinato wins at Roland Garros, again

-- Italian Marco Cecchinato enjoyed a memorable run to the semi-finals in 2018, becoming the lowest-ranked man to reach the last four at a Grand Slam since 1999.

Despite making the Roland Garros third round last year, the 28-year-old has still never won a main-draw match at any of the other three major tournaments.

He loves Paris, though, and beat Japan's Yasutaka Uchiyama 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to set up a second-round meeting with Australian 21st seed Alex de Minaur, who he saw off in straight sets in the opening round last year.

Karatsev continues dream season

-- Russian Aslan Karatsev was almost a total unknown until the Australian Open in February, where he remarkably went all the way to the semis as a qualifier before losing to Novak Djokovic.

Unlike Cecchinato, the 27-year-old has since proven it was no fluke, winning the title in Dubai and beating Djokovic to reach a final in Belgrade.

But the roles were reversed on Wednesday when the little-known player was on the other side of the net -- American qualifier Jenson Brooksby.

"To be honest, I don't know this guy. I never saw him before," said 24th seed Karatsev after a straight-sets victory.

Kvitova out after freak 'press' ankle injury

-- After all the focus on post-match media obligations this week due to Naomi Osaka's boycott, Petra Kvitova had to withdraw after falling over during hers.

"During my post-match press requirements on Sunday I fell and hurt my ankle," said the two-time semi-finalist.

The Czech added that she was hopeful she could be fit in time to try and win a third Wimbledon title.

Who's saying what

"It was incredible, you know. It was incredible."

-- Home favourite Gael Monfils on playing in front of his French fans, having beaten Albert Ramos-Vinolas in four sets.

"Oh, yeah, I didn't know that. Yeah, I guess it happened. So moving on."

-- Venus Williams after being told she has lost in the first round in four consecutive years.

"She made her decision, and I wish her a speedy recovery because it seems like it really damaged her mentally."

-- Fifth seed Elina Svitolina on Naomi Osaka's withdrawal.

"I think just talking about your emotions, your feelings, personal things, especially myself, I think it's really hard for me to just in general just open up. Yeah, it's not something that comes natural."

-- Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady on dealing with press conferences.

"I just can only lend out, like, a hand for support. You know, tour, it isn't the easiest, you know. I talk to other players and they have gone through similar things in the past."

-- American teenager Coco Gauff on Osaka's revelations.

"I think there definitely needs to be more open dialogue on what not only her but everyone on tour goes through. I think we don't talk about it enough."

-- Former US Open winner Sloane Stephens.

"Don't choke!"

-- Australia's Alexei Popyrin when asked what he had learned after squandering a 5-2 lead and set points in the third set of his defeat to Rafael Nadal.

"But I'm really proud, too, of myself and really happy to have the chance to play here one last time."

-- Carla Suarez Navarro after making her return following her recovery from cancer. The Spaniard lost in three sets to Stephens.

"Well, of course the conditions of last year for me at the end have been good because I won."

-- Nadal when asked if the autumn conditions of last year's tournament helped him.

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