Casper Ruud and Aryna Sabalenka advance to 2nd round of French Open Loop Jamaica

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PARIS (AP) — Two-time finalist Casper Ruud began his French Open with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win against Felipe Meligeni Alves on Tuesday.

“I think I am having a pretty good clay season,” the No. 7 seed said.

Ruud, who leads the ATP with 36 wins this season, won clay-court titles at the Geneva Open and the Barcelona Open and was the runner-up at Monte Carlo, where he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Ruud made it to the final at Roland Garros each of the last two years, losing to Rafael Nadal in 2022 and Novak Djokovic in 2023.

The final day of the first round featured autumn-like temperatures as low as 16 degrees Celsius (61 degrees Fahrenheit). Heavy rain delayed play on most courts for nearly five hours, with matches continuing only in the two main stadiums, which have retractable roofs.

Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka defeated Erika Andreeva 6-1, 6-2 in Court Philippe Chatrier to reach the second round. On Court Suzanne Lenglen, 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina beat Greet Minnen 6-2, 6-3. Sabalenka and Rybakina could meet in the semifinals.

Sabalenka is aiming to become the first player since Serena Williams in 2015 to win both the Australian Open and Roland Garros in the same season.

Veteran French player Alizé Cornet, who is 34, retired from tennis after losing to Zheng Qinwen 6-2, 6-1. Cornet was feted in a farewell ceremony afterward.

No. 11 Alex De Minaur eliminated Alex Michelsen 6-1, 6-0, 6-2.

Djokovic was scheduled to start his title defense on Tuesday against Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the main stadium. Djokovic, who holds 24 Grand Slam titles, has yet to win any tournament this year.