French Open 2021: All five Aussies bundled out in second round

Ash Barty during the second round of the 2021 French Open. Photo: Tennis Australia

The men’s top seeds kept rolling on in the second round, while Ash Barty headlined the contingent of Aussies who have crashed out in the second round of the 2021 French Open.

The Roger Federer comeback continues, and it is must-watch sports. Federer is 39 now, but looked in control and trusting of his body to slide across the clay and generate winners against fellow veteran Marin Čilić. He did have an extended word to the chair umpire during the match, but righted himself to close out the match in four sets.

Favourites Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic both enjoyed comfortable straight sets victories, while the surprise of the second round came with 37-year-old German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber’s incredible display against Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev, defeating the Russian in four sets.

On the women’s side, 2020 champion Iga Swiatek cemented her favouritism with a comfortable straight sets victory, dropping just two games. Maria Sakkari and Elina Svitolina pushed their credentials, while American teen sensation Coco Gauff continued her form on clay with a straight sets win.

The 2021 French Open has not been a happy hunting ground for Aussies, with the remaining five hopefuls bundled out in the second round of play.

Barty retires as Sharma comes full circle

The story of the second round came with one seed Ash Barty retiring in the second set of her matchup with Poland’s Magda Linette. The Australia superstar has been battling a hip injury in recent times, and admitted in her first round post-match interview that is was hampering her movement. However, she battled through it and entered the second round match as a strong favourite to progress.

Her inability to glide around the court as she usually does was apparent from the get-go, and Linette was able to pull off consistent winners. She won 83 percent of her first serves, and rattled off four aces in her six service games.

For Barty, it isn’t the end of the world that she is forced to retire in the second round, given the potential to cause further injury as she progresses through the French Open. Add to this the upcoming schedule of the tennis world, with Wimbledon and the Olympics coming in the next two months, and it may be a blessing in disguise for the world number one.

Ajla Tomljanović was unable to build on her good showing in the first round, falling at the hands of veteran Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second round of Roland Garros. Her service games were unconvincing for the duration of the match, and she finished with just a 42 percent win rate on her second serve. The Russian also struggled with her second serve, but got her first serves in at a higher clip.

She will face the rampaging Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in the third round, who firms as one of the favourites for the 2021 French Open.

Ajla Tomljanović during the second round of the 2021 French Open. Photo: Tennis Australia

Astra Sharma rounded out the Aussie women who made it to the second round, but she too fell, and it was at the hands of Ons Jabeur. The Tunisian 25 seed got her revenge over the Australian after tasting defeat in the final of WTA Charleston, where Sharma claimed her maiden WTA singles title. Jabeur controlled the contest after a tight tussle developed in the first few games. The match was dictated on her racquet as she kept Sharma running and used her overpowering strength to advantage.

She will face Barty’s second round opponent Magda Linette in the third round.

Ajla Tomljanović23
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova [31]66
Ash Barty [1]12
Magda Linette62
Astra Sharma24
Ons Jabeur [25]66

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Demon continues to curse the clay

Alex De Minaur’s battles on clay continued with his loss in the second round of Roland Garros. The top-ranked Aussie male in the 2021 French Open had his work cut out for him, in the form of Marco Cecchinato. The Italian is a dynamo on the red dirt of Paris, making it to the Roland Garros semi-finals in 2018.

He preyed on any and all mistakes that De Minaur made, and the Australian’s serve was taken advantage of, with Cecchinato regularly returning balls with interest on second serves. It resulted in De Minaur winning just half of the points off his second serve, gifting the Italian 14 break point opportunities. He won six of those, and defeated the youngster in straight sets.

Cecchinato will face fellow countryman Lorenzo Musetti in the third round.

Alex De Minaur during the second round of the 2021 French Open. Photo: Tennis Australia

James Duckworth rounded out the Aussies to taste defeat in the second round of the 2021 French Open, losing out to Lithuanian Ričardas Berankis. The Australian dominated proceedings when he got his first serve in play, rattling off 18 aces in the four sets of action. However, he only got 50 percent of his first serves in play.

Berankis was able to take adavantage of his second serve, winning about half of those points and converting his opportunities to five breaks. Duckworth tied the sets at one-apiece. However, the veteran was able to take out the third set tie break and broke the spirit of Duckworth early in the fourth set, eventually taking the fourth to love.

James Duckworth566[4]0
Ričardas Berankis 727[7]6
Alex De Minaur [21]4161
Marco Cecchinato6636

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About Jasper Chellappah 161 Articles
Jasper writes on Aussie Rules, basketball, tennis and netball for The Inner Sanctum. His main area is player analysis and under-age competitions, with a keen focus on the AFL Draft. He also lends his voice to The Checkside and the SuperCoach Sanctum PODcast each week.

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