Spain’s Paula Badosa made light work of French wild card Fiona Ferro to reach the second round at Roland-Garros.
With defending champion Barbora Krejcikova and top-10 seeds Anett Kontaveit, Ons Jabeur and Garbine Muguruza all out of the tournament already, those capable of challenging in-form world No. 1 Iga Swiatek are diminishing by the day.
Badosa hopes to be such a contender, and though the Spaniard suffered early exits in Madrid and Rome, she opened in Paris with a composed 6-2 6-0 win over 25-year-old Ferro.
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In the same half of the draw as Swiatek, a semi-final meeting with the Pole is possible, but 24-year-old Badosa is yet to reach a Grand Slam semi.
Up next for the third seed is either world No. 68 Kaja Juvan or world No. 159 Oksana Selekhmeteva in the second round.
“I wasn’t expecting this result, I know she’s a very good player on clay. I was nervous but it’s a very special tournament for me,” Badosa said afterwards.
Following Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s emotional farewell on Chatrier, there was a sparse crowd on the main show court as Badosa got her third French Open campaign under way.
The New York-born star enjoyed a breakthrough 2021 when reaching the French Open quarters and winning Indian Wells, and she started the year by adding the Sydney Tennis Classic title as well.
Out of the Australian Open in the round of 16, a run to the Indian Wells semis and Miami quarters followed, but her warm-up events on clay proved disappointing overall with early defeats in Madrid and Rome.
However, there was very little wrong with her first-round display on Tuesday, a match that was over in just 54 minutes.
Badosa broke immediately and then once more to seal the opening set 6-2, while it was one-way traffic in the second as three breaks saw her bagel the world No. 130.
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