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Halep, Ostapenko advance at French Open

Former winners Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko have both reached the second round of the French Open, avoiding the fate of holder Barbora Krejcikova and 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza who were knocked out on Monday.

The pair will be joined in the second round by last year’s Wimbledon finalist Karolina Pliskova, who came through a tricky tie on Tuesday, and this year’s Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins.

Halep eventually turned on the style in a strange match against 18-year-old German lucky loser Nastasja Schunk.

Having won the first set 6-4 she lost the second 1-6 before reversing that score in the third. Afterwards the 2018 winner said her target for the tournament was simply ‘to play better in the next round’, and that would be her approach throughout.

Ostapenko, the 2017 champion, ended a five-match losing streak with a 6-1 6-4 win over Lucia Bronzetti to advance to meet Alize Cornet, who saw off Japan’s Misaki Doi in straight sets.

Pliskova had to dig deep to avoid joining Monday’s culled seeds, coming back from a set and a break down against home hope Tessah Andrianjafitrimo.

The Czech No.8 seed eventually prevailed 2-6 6-3 6-1.

Collins made a strong start to her Paris campaign, cruising past lucky loser Viktoriya Tomova 6-0 6-4 to book her spot in the second round.

Third seed Paula Badosa made quick work of French wildcard Fiona Ferro winning 6-2 6-0 in under an hour and boost her confidence following a dip in form earlier this month.

The Spaniard, who had cited mental fatigue as one of the reasons for early exits in Rome and Madrid this month, looked in top form as she chased the 25-year-old Ferro across the court with her trademark thundering groundstrokes.

Badosa stormed through the second set in 18 minutes.

Madison Keys came back from a break down in the deciding set to close out a 6-3 3-6 6-4 win over Anna Kalinskaya. She will play home favourite Caroline Garcia, who beat Taylor Townsend in straight sets,.

With agencies

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