Sinner stuns Goffin on French Open debut, Azarenka wins opener

PARIS: Italian teenager Jannik Sinner (pix) upset 11th seed David Goffin 7-5 6-0 6-3 on his French Open debut on Sunday to confirm his status as one of the most exciting talents in men’s tennis.

The 19-year-old, who won last year’s NextGen ATP Finals title, traded a double break of serve with his Belgian opponent before getting the crucial third break to take the opening set.

It was all Sinner after that as his sizzling forehand started generating more power and Goffin struggled to stay in the rallies under the closed roof of court Philippe Chatrier as the Italian won 11 straight games to close in on victory.

Sinner converted his second match point when his opponent sent a forehand wide and the Italian will next meet French qualifier Benjamin Bonzi or Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori.

Former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka reached the French Open second round Sunday despite being forced to “sit like a duck” in the “ridiculous” rain and cold of Roland Garros.

The 31-year-old 10th seed eased past Danka Kovinic, the world No. 74 from Montenegro, 6-1, 6-2.

Azarenka, the runner-up at the recent US Open, needed just over an hour to secure her win in a tie played out on a crowd-free Court Suzanne Lenglen due to coronavirus restrictions.

However, she had been unhappy earlier in the tie when rain fell steadily, adding to the misery of playing in 10°C.

“This is getting a little ridiculous. It’s eight degrees. I’m not waiting,” said Azarenka, refusing to hang around courtside “sitting like ducks” as the supervisor came out to inspect conditions.

“It’s too cold. I live in Florida, I’m used to hot weather.”

After just 15 minutes, play was suspended.

However, the Belarusian regained her composure when the match resumed even if she did complete it wearing black leggings and a tracksuit top.

She will face 40-year-old Venus Williams or Anna Karolina Schmiedlova for a place in the last 32.

“I am glad to get it finished so I can watch the others struggle in this weather and rain,” said Azarenka. – Reuters

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