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Round-up: Muguruza strikes back to avoid Roland Garros upset

Round-up: Muguruza strikes back to avoid Roland Garros upset

26/05/2019 at 11:01Updated 26/05/2019 at 19:24

Garbine Muguruza was forced to come from a set down to defeat Taylor Townsend and avoid an upset in the first round of the French Open.

The American looked set to cause a stir after claiming the first set 7-5, but Muguruza, the 2016 champion rallied to win the second and third sets 6-2 to book her place in the second round.

Muguruza has suffered from injury problems of late and was sluggish at the start of the match. Townsend claimed her first break courtesy of a slack service game from the Spaniard, who subsequently struck back.

However, while serving to force a tiebreak, she succumbed to the pressure and Townsend had the first set in the bag.

Video - Highlights - Muguruza comes from a set down to see off Townsend

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The third proved to be similarly routine, with Murguruza sprinting into a 5-1 lead. She may have squandered three match points on the Townsend serve, but did not let it affect her, taking her fourth and serving it out to love.

"I knew it was going to be a challenge no matter who my opponent was. We always know that the first rounds are difficult. It's the first match of a Grand Slam, it's a little adventure," Muguruza said after the match.

"Also playing Taylor, she had a different style of game, a very lefty player. She's super talented, so it took me a while to feel better in the court, to get the rhythm to have a game plan. It was a tough match. I'm happy to go through."

Elsewhere in the women's draw, Petra Martic got off to an impressive start, dropping just three games in a straight-sets victory over Ons Jabeur. Johanna Larsson is also through to the second round for the sixth time in her career after beating Magdalena Rybarikova. Former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova was defeated in the first round by Kristina Kucova 6-4, 6-2.

In an all-French clash on Suzanne-Lenglen, Kristina Mladenovic beat Fiona Ferro 6-3, 7-6(3).

Sloane Stephens, the American seventh seed, need a tie break to defeat Japan's Misaki Doi 6-3 7-6(4).

FRENCH OPEN WOMEN'S SINGLES ROUND 1 RESULTS

A. Potapova (Rus) def. A Kerber (Ger) [5] 6-4, 6-2

G. Mugurzua (Spa) [19] def. T. Townsend (USA) 5-7, 6-2, 6-2

J. Larsson (Swe) def. M. Rybarikova (Rus) 6-3, 6-4

P. Martic (Cro) [31] def. O. Jabeur (Tun) 6-1, 6-2

M. Vondrousova (Cze) def. Y.F Wang (Chn) 6-4, 6-3

K. Kucova (Svk) def. S. Kuvznetsova (Rus) 6-4, 6-2

B. Bencic (Sui) [15] def. J. Ponchet (Fra) 6-1, 6-4

L. Siegemund (Ger) def. S. Zhuk (Rus) 6-3, 6-3

K. Mladenovic (Fra) def. Fiona Ferro (Fra) 6-3, 7-6(3)

Ka. Pliskova (Cze) [2] def. M. Brengle (USA) 6-2, 6-3

E. Svitolina (Ukr) [9] def. V. Williams (USA) 6-3, 6-3

S. Stephens (USA) [7] def. M. Doi (Jpn) 6-3 7-6(4)

S. Sorribes TOrmo (Esp) def. A. Van Uvtvanck (Bel) 6-1 5-7 6-2

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