Kastles Roland Garros Highlights: Kostyuk Stuns Muguruza; Serena, Venus & Tommy Headline Action Today on Tennis Channel
ï»¿It's game time in Paris for Washington's biggest stars and legends who are aiming to go deep at the 2021 French Open.
Kastles legend and former world No. 1 Serena Williams (2008-09, 2011) continues her hunt for "No. 24" at Roland Garros. The three-time French Open champion staved off a stern challenge from Irina-Camelia Begu in their opening-round clash, ultimately prevailing, 7-6(6), 6-2, to book a spot in the second round.
In a historic first-ever night session on Court Philippe Chatrier, the 23-time Grand Slam champion denied two set points during a first-set comeback by world No. 74 Begu, before finally overcoming the Romanian in an hour and 42 minutes.
"I have to say it was pretty cool to be able to play the first night session ever here at Roland Garros," Williams told the press, following her win. "That was something I thoroughly enjoyed."
Making her 19th appearance at the clay-court major, No. 7 seed Williams improved to 77-1 in Grand Slam first-round matches, as she scored her second victory in two meetings against former top-25 Begu.
Next up, Williams faces Romanian lefty and former top-20 star Mihaela Buzarnescu. They square off today, third up on Court Philippe-Chatrier, around 10 a.m. EST.
The Kastles legend, who memorably played the first match ever at Kastles Stadium in 2008, is on the hunt for a record-breaking 24th Grand Slam singles title on the terre battue. After Kastles alum and current world No. 2 Naomi Osaka's abrupt withdrawal from the tournament on Monday, Williams is now the favorite in the bottom half of the draw
Twice, Osaka has stopped Williams from achieving the historic milestone, first in the 2018 US Open final and then again this year in the semis of the Australian Open.
Don't miss Kastles legend Serena Williams at Roland Garros on Tennis Channel today around 10 a.m. EST!
In the top half of the draw, Ukrainian rising star and 2019 Kastles alum Marta Kostyuk (2019) is making a splash in Paris.
The 18-year-old Kyiv native and 2017 US Open junior champion pulled off the biggest upset of her career in the first round of the singles tournament, eliminating 2016 champion and No. 12 seed Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain, 6-1, 6-4, and notching her first win over a top-20 opponent.
"I was so ready and so prepared," Kostyuk told the press, after the match. "My aggressive game today, I'm really glad it worked. I want to keep on going with this game."
Up next, Kostyuk faces China's Zheng Saisai on Thursday. It will be the former Kastle's first, second-round appearance at the clay-court major in her second appearance at the event.
Kostyuk made her WTT debut at Kastles Stadium at Union Market in 2019, but announced her arrival on the WTA tour, at the age of 15, at the 2018 Australian Open.
Elsewhere, star Kastles alum Madison Brengle (2015-2018) also advanced in singles. The Dover, Delaware native beat Columbian María Camila Osorio Serrano, 7-5, 6-4, in the first round of competition. Next up, she faces Slovenian world No. 85 Tamara Zidanšek today, first up on Court 7.
Well known for her fighting spirit and one of the toughest opponents in WTT, Maddy is best remembered by DC sports fans for closing out the 2015 WTT championship match at Kastles Stadium against current world #6 Elina Svitolina as a substitute in a thrilling final set that brought the entire stadium to its feet when the last ball was struck. The victory over the Austin Aces (24-18) earned Washington a record-setting fifth consecutive King Trophy and sixth WTT title overall.
In other Kastles news, 23-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams lost her opening match in singles to No. 32 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, 6-3, 6-1, but will team up with American teen sensation and Citi Open star Coco Gauff in women's doubles. The duo will take on No. 13 seeds Zheng Saisai and Ellen Perez today, third up on Court 9.
Kastles all-star Tommy Paul won over DC tennis fans in 2017 when he made an inspired run to the quarterfinals in his Citi Open debut. (WTT/Washington Kastles)
On the men's side, Kastles all-star Tommy Paul (2019-2020) outlasted Aussie Christopher O'Connell in a five-set thriller, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6, 10-8, to reach the second round of Roland Garros for the third time. Paul, currently ranked No. 52 in the world, won over DC tennis fans in 2017 when he made an inspired run to the quarterfinals in his Citi Open debut. Today, the New Jersey native faces world No. 2 and 2019 Citi Open finalist Daniil Medvedev in the last match on Court Philippe-Chatrier, around 3 p.m. EST.
In men's doubles, former Kastles star Marcelo Arevalo (2019) paired with Matwé Middelkoop to upset No. 12 seeds Henri Kontinen and Édouard Roger-Vasselin, 6-7(4), 7-6(1), 7-6(2), in their opening match.
In other Kastles news, DC's own Frances Tiafoe lost a tough match to Orange County Breakers all-star Steve Johnson, 6-7(5), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1, in a first-round heartbreaker, but teamed up with 2019 Kastles star Nicholas Monroe to knock out No. 8 seeds Åukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the second round in men's doubles.
ï»¿Elsewhere, former US No. 1 John Isner defeated Kastles 2015 WTT champion Sam Querrey, 7-6(2), 6-3, 6-4, in the opening round.
Follow Venus & Tommy and all your favorite Kastles on Facebook & Twitter @washkastles!
As always, feel free to contact any of our dedicated team members with any questions or for ticket information. We can be reached by phone at 202-4-TENNIS (483-6647), E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our website at www.washingtonkastles.com.
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World TeamTennis Stories from June 2, 2021
- Kastles Roland Garros Highlights: Kostyuk Stuns Muguruza; Serena, Venus & Tommy Headline Action Today on Tennis Channel - Washington Kastles
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