DAY 3 AT ROLAND GARROS
It was a day of much anticipation; would Simone Bolelli be the first player in a long time to take a set from the defending champion at Roland Garros?
How would Serena Williams fare in her first match back at a major since the 2017 Australian Open?
The questions were answered in favor of the defending champion and Williams; however, it was not an easy victory for either. Bolelli pushed Nadal. He hit forehand and backhand winners that had Nadal shaking his head in confusion; yet, he still was unable to win his first set on clay against the “king of clay”. Nadal did what only the greats are capable of doing; he elevated his game and withstood the attack from the Italian to win a thrilling third set tiebreak and the match 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(9).
Williams may not have had a high winning percentage on her second serve; however, her first serve was effective and won her first serve with a few aces when it mattered most. She played well; in comparison to the last two matches she played since she returned from maternity leave. There was more sting to her shots and her first serve had some bite to it; yet, she made a few more double faults than she normally does. Is she ready to go all the way? Only Williams can answer that question. I am not sure how she is feeling physically; yet, mentally I think she is right there. Despite trading a couple of breaks in the second set, she won 7-6(4), 6-4.
It was a memorable day for two Americans: Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Taylor Townsend. Mattek-Sands defeated Johanna Larsson 6-4, 6-3 and Townsend defeated Myrtille Georges 6-4, 6-2.
A DAY OF DISAPPOINTMENT FOR SOME AMERICANS
Although Noah Rubin had opportunities in both tiebreaks to win, he could not convert and lost to fellow countryman, John Isner, 3-6, 6-7(7), 6-7(7).
The fourteenth seed, Jack Sock, continues to struggle and lost to Jurgen Zopp, a player ranked 136. Sock lost 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-4, 6-7(5), 3-6.
Ryan Harrison lost to Maximilian Marterer 1-6, 3-6, 5-7.
Tennys Sandgren lost to a player ranked 188, Hubert Hurkacz, 2-6,2-6, 6-3, 3-6.
Varvara Lepchenko came so close, but in the end it was not close enough and she lost to Elise Mertens, the sixteenth seed, 7-6(9), 6-7(4), 0-6.
SOURCE OF IMAGES: Zimbio.com (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe and Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Europe: Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams respectively)