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HomeSportsFrench Open 2021: Elina Svitolina and Jennifer Brady progress to second round...

French Open 2021: Elina Svitolina and Jennifer Brady progress to second round at Roland Garros

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Fifth seed Elina Svitolina survived a scare to beat teenage debutant Oceane Babel in the French Open first round.

The Ukrainian fought back from a break down in the second set to triumph 6-2 7-5 in 17-year-old Paris native Babel’s first senior Grand Slam appearance.

Babel led 5-2 in set two but Svitolina won five straight games to progress.

Australian Open finalist Jennifer Brady beat Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-3 while Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari defeated Ukraine’s Katarina Zavatska 6-4 6-1.

Second seed Naomi Osaka withdrew from the tournament on Monday after the controversy over her refusal to speak to the media.

World number one Ashleigh Barty, Venus Williams and American teenager Coco Gauff are also in first-round action later on Tuesday.

Svitolina will meet Ann Li in round two after the American thrashed Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan 6-0 6-1. She was made to work hard for her victory by Babel, who was playing an opponent ranked inside the world’s top 150 for the first time.

“It’s a first time for her to play here in the main draw of the Grand Slam and to face the sixth player in the world it’s extremely tough,” Svitolina said.

“I think she dealt very well with it and she went for her shots in the second set and made life very difficult for me.”

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