Roland Garros 2023: Taylor Fritz, Jessica Pegula lead American charge in R1
Across three days of opening-round singles play at Roland Garros, 10 American women and five American men secured victories on the Paris clay. Top 10 seeds Taylor Fritz and Jessica Pegula led the U.S. charge into the second round with a pair of straight-sets wins, with Fritz beating fellow American Michael Mmoh and Pegula knocking off countrywoman Danielle Collins.
Sloane Stephens, who won a WTA 125 in France earlier this month, also advanced with an upset win against No. 16 seed Karolina Pliskova.
On the men's side, the ninth-seeded Fritz is joined in the second round by No. 12 seed Frances Tiafoe, No. 16 seed Tommy Paul, No. 24 seed Sebastian Korda and Marcos Giron. The 10 women to advance include the third-seeded Pegula, No. 6 seed Coco Gauff, No. 20 Madison Keys, Stephens, Claire Liu, wild card Emma Navarro, Lauren Davis, qualifier Kayla Day, Bernarda Pera and Peyton Stearns.
Fritz, who reached three semifinals on the European clay swing leading up to Roland Garros, was a 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 winner against Mmoh on Tuesday.
"I've known Mmoh forever. Him and I are really good friends," said Fritz, who will next meet France's Arthur Rinderknech. "I just wanted to come out and play aggressive, play solid. I've gotten a good amount of matches in the last week or two so I felt that I was playing well and [wanted to] just come out and play the same as those ones."
Korda also won an all-American matchup with a 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 result against Mackenzie McDonald. He will next meet Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner, who knocked off American Maxime Cressy in the opening round.
Tiafoe (def. Filip Krajinovic) and Paul (def. Dominic Stricker) were also straight-sets winners, while Giron advanced in four against Serbian qualifier Hamad Medjedovic. Paul and Giron would meet in the third round if both advance, while Tiafoe could face Alexander Zverev at that stage if he gets past Aslan Karatsev on Thursday.
On the women's side, Pegula's 6-4, 6-2 win against Collins set her up for a second-round meeting with Italy's Camila Giorgi. The 29-year-old reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals last season for her best result in Paris. If she can again reach that stage this year, it would make it five quarterfinal showing in the past six majors (all but last season's Wimbledon).
Stephens, a Roland Garros finalist in 2018, stormed past Pliskova 6-0, 6-4, to continue her strong clay form. In the bottom half of the women's singles draw, she and Pegula were joined in the winners' circle by Stearns, who beat Katerina Siniakova, 7-6(6), 6-2.
The other seven American winners all came out of the top half, including six from the first quarter.
Gauff and Keys could meet in the fourth round, and both earned three-set victories to move one step closer to that potential showdown. Gauff battled back for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory against Rebeka Masarova, while Keys earned a 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 result against Estonian giant-killer Kaia Kanepi.
Keys will next face Day in an all-American matchup after the qualifier's 7-5, 6-1 win against French qualifier Kiki Mladenovic.
Also advancing in the top quarter were Liu (def. Ylen In-Albon), Navarro (def. Erika Andreeva) and Davis (def. Lin Zhu). Liu's win set up a showdown with defending Roland Garros champ Iga Swiatek, while Navarro will meet former US Open titlist Biance Andreescu in the second round.
Rounding out the American winners is Pera, whose 7-6(6), 6-2 win against Anett Kontaveir set up a meeting with No. 22 seed Donna Vekic in the draw's second quarter.
For more from Roland Garros, visit the tournament's official website. The main draw of the event runs from May 28 through June 11.