It’s never easy to launch a Grand Slam tournament when you have ambitions. Neither is it easy to face a player from qualifying, left-handed moreover. Elise Mertens had to face all that Monday, against Storm Sanders (161st). It was, at times, complicated but in the end the Limburgoise came out (6-4, 6-1) with already good benchmarks.
Led 4-1 in the first set by an ultra aggressive left-hander, Mertens did not start to think at all. And yet, his concentration had been a little disturbed by a visor rebutted by the supervisor because of the presence of a sponsor logo banned at Roland Garros, then by bottle caps that were not the usual color. “This whole start of the game was weird! I lost my concentration and it took a long time to get into the game. But then, mentally, I reacted well.” She has indeed assumed her status by dictating the game.
Zarina Diyas, currently 93rd in the world and 31 in 2015, has a very solid blocking game. His second round will be stronger. “She likes to play hip-height and flat, so you’ll have to vary a lot.”