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French Open: Aussies struggle on day one at Roland-Garros

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Australian tennis fans haven’t had much to cheer about at the French Open so far, with Aleksandr Vukic, Jordan Thompson and Ajla Tomljanovic all losing on the opening day of the Grand Slam.

Thompson, ranked No.36 in the world, was the first to fall on Sunday.

The 30-year-old faced off against No.101 Maximillian Marterer and went down in straight sets by the German. Thompson struggled to get any rhythm, making 32 unforced errors across the 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 defeat.

Next came Tomljonovic, who took on No.30 seed Daria Yastremska. The Aussie veteran started well, claiming the first set, but Yastremska turned the match around and raced away to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win in just over two hours.

Vukic, meanwhile, found himself in a battle with the in-form Zhizhen Zhang. The big-serving Chinese player struck 18 aces and won 83% of first-serve points, claiming the match 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

De Minaur leads Australian effort in Paris

Despite three losses from three starts, there’s still plenty of hope for Australian tennis in Paris over the next fortnight.

In the men’s draw, Alexei Popyrin, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Alex de Minaur, Adam Walton, Rinky Hijikata and Max Purcell all remain. For the women, Daria Saville is the sole hope.

Of the Aussie hopes, de Minaur is by far the strongest contender to make a deep run at this year’s Roland-Garros.

The world No.11 sits at $101 with bookmaker Bet365 to win his maiden Grand Slam next weekend. While the 25-year-old’s odds may not inspire much confidence, the 2024 French Open is one of the most wide-open majors that men’s tennis has seen in decades.

De Minaur will begin his campaign on Tuesday against American teenager Alex Michelsen. He is seeded to face Daniil Medvedev in the round of 16, having defeated the Russian twice in the last two years.

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