Wimbledon champion Andy Murray survived a minor scare to advance to the second round of the French Open, beating Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
The seventh-seeded Briton, who has never made it past the semi-finals at Roland Garros and skipped the tournament last year with a back injury, next faces Australian Marinko Matosevic or Dustin Brown of Germany.
Murray cruised through the first two sets but in the third, world number 53 Golubev reached another dimension, firing forehand winners and mixing it up with drop shots to reduce the arrears.
Murray, who underwent back surgery last September, quickly regained his composure and ended the contest on his third match point with a service winner.
Na no more
Li Na lost her first Grand Slam match since winning the title in Melbourne, falling to Kristina Mladenovic of France 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.
The loss came a day after men’s Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka lost to 41st-ranked Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 in the first round.
Li, who won the French Open title in 2011 and is seeded second this year, ended up with 37 unforced errors on a cool and overcast day at Roland Garros.
This is the first time that both Australian Open champions have lost in the first round at Roland Garros.
The last Australian Open women’s champion to lose in the first round in Paris was Lindsay Davenport in 2000.
Wozniacki bows out
Caroline Wozniacki’s return to tennis and the public eye after her breakup with golfer Rory McIlroy ended in more pain when the 13th seed was knocked out in the French Open first round by Yanina Wickmayer.
The 23-year-old Dane vowed to move on in her life after Wickmayer won a high-quality baseline battle 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-2 condemning Wozniacki to her first opening round defeat at Roland Garros since her debut in 2007.
At the post-match press conference, the former world number one said she would not answer questions about her private life, but made a short statement.
“The only thing I really have to say is that, you know, thank everybody for their support and sweet messages. That’s really nice.”