PARIS (Reuters) - World number one Simona Halep fought back after a slow start to beat American Alison Riske 2-6 6-1 6-1 in a rain-delayed French Open first-round match on Wednesday.
Riske broke Halep’s serve three times in the first set, but the Romanian found her rhythm to wrap up victory on Court Philippe Chatrier.
“I think the nerves are really good. It means that you care about what you are doing and your desire is really big,” said Halep, twice runner-up at Roland Garros.
Fourth seed Elina Svitolina advanced with a regulation 6-3 6-4 victory over Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova while twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova took just over an hour to beat Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena 6-0 6-4.
Second seed Caroline Wozniacki turned in a ruthless display to defeat big-serving Spanish qualifier Georgina Garcia Perez 6-1 6-0 in 51 minutes.
In the men’s draw, former champion Novak Djokovic was far less clinical, letting loose a number of wayward shots, but still had too much class for Spanish qualifier Jaume Munar in a 7-6(1) 6-4 6-4 win.
Djokovic will next face claycourt specialist Roberto Bautista-Agut, who beat Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo 6-4 7-5 6-3.
Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov were both stretched to five sets in their second-round victories.
Zverev, seeded second, beat world number 60 Dusan Lajovic 2-6 7-5 4-6 6-1 6-2 to claim his 32nd win of the season.
Fourth seed Dimitrov battled past American Jared Donaldson 6-7(2) 6-4 4-6 6-4 10-8 to match his best performance at Roland Garros by reaching the third round for the third time.
Highlights from day four of the French Open tennis championships on Wednesday (all times GMT):
Britain’s Cameron Norrie was blown away early on by Lucas Pouille but responded strongly to win the third set, and trailed the Frenchman 6-2 6-4 5-7 when play was suspended due to fading light.
Russian Daria Kasatkina, the 14th seed, beat unseeded Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-3 6-3 to set up a third-round clash with Maria Sakkari of Greece.
Austrian Dominic Thiem led Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitispas 6-2 2-6 6-4 before play was suspended with light fading.
1910 PARMENTIER EDGES CORNET IN ALL-FRENCH CLASH
France’s Pauline Parmentier beat compatriot Alize Cornet 6-7 6-4 6-2 in a match littered with unforced errors, and will meet second seed Caroline Wozniacki in the third round.
Parmentier struck 36 clear winners to Cornet’s 26, but made 64 unforced errors to her opponent’s 42 in a match lasting over three hours.
U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens moved into the third round with a comfortable 6-2 6-2 win over Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech.
The American struck 17 winners and never faced a break point in a one-sided match lasting just over an hour.
Dane Caroline Wozniacki produced a ruthless display to beat Spain’s Georgina Garcia Perez 6-1 6-0 in 51 minutes.
Fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov secured a decisive break in the 17th game of the final set to beat American Jared Donaldson 6-7(2) 6-4 4-6 6-4 10-8 in the second round.
It was the Bulgarian’s 50th Grand Slam match-win as he matched his best Roland Garros performance by reaching the third round for the third time.
Japan’s Kei Nishikori battled past home favourite Benoit Paire 6-3 2-6 4-6 6-2 6-3 to book a third round spot after three hours on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
World number three Alexander Zverev survived a scare from unseeded Dusan Lajovic to beat the Serb 2-6 7-5 4-6 6-1 6-2 in the second round.
It was the German’s 32nd win of the season and he will face Bosnian Damir Dzumhur for a place in the last 16.
Eighth seed Belgian David Goffin produced a clinical display to reach the third round for a fourth straight year, defeating Frenchman Corentin Moutet 7-5 6-0 6-1.
Serena and Venus Williams won their first doubles match together since lifting the 2016 Wimbledon title, defeating Japanese pair Shuko Aoyama and Miyu Kato 4-6 6-4 6-1 in the opening round.
American Madison Keys, seeded 13th, struck 21 winners on her way to a 6-4 6-1 second-round victory over compatriot Caroline Dolehide.
Former champion Novak Djokovic continued his steady progress with a 7-6(1) 6-4 6-4 victory over Spain’s Jaume Munar. The Serb extending his winning run to 17 matches against qualifiers at Grand Slam events.
He will make his 13th third round appearance at Roland Garros against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat Colombian Santiago Giraldo 6-4 7-5 6-3.
1315 CHARDY STUNS BERDYCH IN FIVE-SET THRILLER
Local favourite Jeremy Chardy recovered well in the final set to beat 17th seed Tomas Berdych 7-6(5) 7-6(8) 1-6 5-7 6-2 in a rain-delayed second round encounter.
World number 86 Chardy will meet fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert for a place in the last-16.
Fourth seed Elina Svitolina hopes Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko’s interest in tennis could boost the sport’s development in her home country.
Poroshenko last week congratulated Svitolina on Twitter following her Italian Open triumph.
“It’s very nice of him that he follows the sport,” Svitolina told reporters. “And hopefully, we’re going to now have not only attention but also maybe someone could invest some money into Ukrainian tennis for our juniors, for our upcoming generation.
“You know, I know that our federation is also working really hard to build the centre where juniors and the small girls and boys can train.”
Pablo Carreno Busta’s nifty movement and measured approach proved decisive in a 7-6(0) 7-6(2) 3-6 6-4 win over Federico Delbonis of Argentina.
The 10th-seeded Spaniard will next face Italian Marco Cecchinato for a place in the last-16.
World number one Simona Halep, chasing a maiden Grand Slam title, secured a 2-6 6-1 6-1 win over American Alison Riske in the opening round.
Romanian Halep, twice runner-up at Roland Garros, will next face American Taylor Townsend, who is ranked 72 in the world.
Japan’s Naomi Osaka, seeded 21st, booked a place in the third round with a 6-4 7-5 win over Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.
Fourth seed Elina Svitolina, who has won three WTA titles so far this season, progressed to the third round with an impressive 6-3 6-4 win over Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia.
Twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova produced a sublime performance to beat Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena 6-0 6-4 in the second round.
The 28-year-old Czech, seeded eighth, struck 27 winners and converted five break-point opportunities to wrap up the match in just over an hour.
Compiled by Hardik Vyas, Shrivathsa Sridhar and Simon Jennings in Bengaluru,; Editing by Ed Osmond