Kiki Bertens reached the second round of Roland Garros on Monday with considerable difficulty.
The Dutch number eight in the world had a bad start against Katarina Zavatska from Ukraine, but recovered.
After a match of more than 2 hours, there was 2-6, 6-2 and 6-0 on the scoreboard in favor of Bertens against twenty-year-old Zavatska, who occupies the 112th place in the world ranking.
Bertens' preparation for Roland Garros was far from ideal.
In the run-up to the last Grand Slam tournament of the year, she suffered an Achilles tendon injury and her match against Zavatska was postponed by almost two hours due to rain.
In the next round, Bertens faces Sara Errani.
The 33-year-old Italian was in the final of Roland Garros in 2012 and also reached the semi-finals (2013) and quarter-finals (2014 and 2015) in Paris.
Bertens experienced her peak at Roland Garros in 2016, when she reached the last four.
In the past three years, she was stranded twice in the second round and once in the third.
Katarina Zavatska made it very difficult for Kiki Bertens, especially in the first set. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Katarina Zavatska made it very difficult for Kiki Bertens, especially in the first set.
(Photo: Pro Shots)
Zavatska starts with guts against Bertens
Bertens started her match against Zavatska weakly.
She didn't know what to do with the game of the young Ukrainian, who played with guts, and was 5-1 down after about half an hour.
De Wateringse straightened up for a while and worked away a few set points, but still had to leave the set 6-2 to Zavatska, who struck on her eighth set point.
In the second set, the breaks fell back and forth, but it was Bertens who returned her service the least often: four every two times.
She took a 5-2 lead, took advantage of her first set point and forced a third set.
In that third set the class difference was decisive.
Bertens turned out to be the better, immediately placed a break, just like in the second set, and struck her first match point at 5-0.
See also: Bertens from favorite to underdog in Paris: 'A good thing that the pressure is now low'