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Rafael Nadal vs Alexei Popyrin, French Open 2021 first round, live score and latest updates - GETTY IMAGES

Rafael Nadal vs Alexei Popyrin, French Open 2021 first round, live score and latest updates – GETTY IMAGES

02:36 PM

Nadal* 2-1 Popyrin

Another tricky service game for Nadal as he is taken to deuce after a couple of errors.

But the King of Clay closes out the game with an ace and backhand volley winer.

02:31 PM

Nadal 1-1 Popyrin*

Terrific start for the young Australian. He holds to love in a game which included a forehand winner and an ace.

02:28 PM

First set: Rafael Nadal* 1-0 Alexei Popyrin (*denotes serve)

Nadal goes wide with a backhand, 30-30. But the Spaniard comes through to hold.

Popyrin hits a very heavy ball. Lets see how often he can keep it between the lines.

02:24 PM

Coin toss

Nadal wins the toss and will serve first

02:18 PM

The champ is here…

02:13 PM

Disappointment for Kvitova

02:00 PM

Up next…

Rafael Nadal - AFPRafael Nadal - AFP

Rafael Nadal – AFP

01:54 PM

Barty wins

Business like finish to the set by Barty. She comes through 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in two hours.

That was a real battle.

01:46 PM

Breakthrough for Barty

Barty breaks first in the final set to lead 4-2. Whatever injury issue she had seems to have gone away for now.

01:43 PM


01:38 PM

Duel in the sun

Even stevens so far in the third set although Barty has had to save some break points.

This could go down to the wire and thankfully more fans are cramming onto Chatrier.

01:25 PM

Good news

Barty is able to continue and she wins the opening game of the third set. Seems to be moving OK at the moment.

01:20 PM

Barty injury

Before the third set, Barty receives a medical time out to treat what looks like a muscle injury.

Worrying times for the Australian.

01:16 PM

Final set incoming

A stunning finish to the set by Pera as she whips a lovely forehand down the line for a winner.

The American has forced a deciding set against Barty. That was not predicted at the start of the day.

01:06 PM

One game away

Gutsy tennis from Pera as her left-handed forehand creates all sorts of trouble for Barty.

She leads 5-2 and Barty will have to serve to stay in the set.

12:59 PM

Completed matches today

Men’s Singles: Marco Cecchinato (Ita) bt Yasutaka Uchiyama (Jpn) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, (21) Alex De Minaur (Aus) bt Stefano Travaglia (Ita) 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), Ricardas Berankis (Lit) bt (29) Ugo Humbert (Fra) 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4

Women’s Singles: Ann Li (USA) bt Margarita Gasparyan (Rus) 6-0, 6-1, Jasmine Paolini (Ita) bt Stefanie Voegele (Swi) 7-5, 6-1, (25) Ons Jabeur (Tun) bt Yulia Putintseva (Kaz) 7-5, 6-2, (13) Jennifer Brady (USA) bt Anastasija Sevastova (Lat) 6-3, 6-3, Astra Sharma (Aus) bt Irina Bara (Rom) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, (17) Maria Sakkari (Gre) bt Katarina Zavatska (Ukr) 6-4, 6-1, Fiona Ferro (Fra) bt En Shuo Liang (Tpe) 6-1, 1-6, 6-4, (5) Elina Svitolina (Ukr) bt Oceane Babel (Fra) 6-2, 7-5, Barbora Krejcikova (Cze) bt Kristyna Pliskova (Cze) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2

12:51 PM

Pera takes second set lead

Barty is not running away with the match as she might have hoped and Pera has moved into a 3-0 lead.

Some work to do for the world No 1 and top seed.

12:44 PM

Upset alert

Andrey Rublev has been one of the best players on the men’s tour in the last 18 months.

But the Russian is two sets down against Jan Lennard Struff. Uphill task for the world No 7 now.

Andrey Rublev - GETTY IMAGESAndrey Rublev - GETTY IMAGES

Andrey Rublev – GETTY IMAGES

12:39 PM

First set Barty

After a lengthy but competitive first set, Barty eventually gets the job done to win it 6-4. The Aussie will hope the second set is not as tough.

12:30 PM

Barty broken

Leading 5-2, Barty was serving to take the opening set but she’s just been broken again. Pera serving at 3-5.

12:20 PM

More results

American Ann Li has beaten Margarita Gasparyan 6-0, 6-1. Greece’s Maria Sakkari, the 17th seed, defeated Ukrainian qualifier Katarina Zavatska 6-4, 6-1 while Ons Jabeur overcame Yulia Putintseva 7-5, 6-2.

12:17 PM

Back to back to back breaks

Three breaks of serve in a row sees Barty lead 3-2 after 23 minutes. A scrappy start to the match.

It is a sparse crowd on Chartier which is disappointing given Barty’s quality.

12:04 PM

Pera hangs on.

A nine-minute opening game between Barty and Pera but the latter comes through to hold.

Could be a long afternoon for the American.

11:48 AM

Boris Becker on Osaka

Strong comments from the German on Osaka.

He told Eurosport: “Sadly I’ve heard her first response a couple of days ago about this media boycott and she cited mental health issues, that’s something always to be taken seriously, especially from such a young woman.

“She couldn’t cope with the pressures of facing the media, especially after losing a match. Now Mats, you and me both know that happens frequently and you have to deal with it and I always believed that is part of the job.

“Without the media there isn’t any prize money, there isn’t any contracts. And you don’t get half the cake. I hated the media personally. I didn’t like to speak to journalists but I had to do it.

“She has cited that she is pulling out of the tournament altogether because she can’t cope with it. That raises much bigger questions for me because if she can’t cope with the media in Paris, she can’t cope with the media at Wimbledon, she can’t cope with the media at the US Open.

“I almost feel like her career is in danger because of mental health issues and that we should take very seriously.”

11:34 AM

Barty up next

Svitolina’s win means Barty is due on court for her clash with Bernarda Pera.

Barty won the tourament in 2019 but skipped the event last year due to travel concerns during the coronavirus pandemic.

11:29 AM

Svitolina reaches second round

There was a potential upset brewing on Court Philippe-Chatrier as French wildcard Oceane Babel served for the second set against Elina Svitolina.

But Svitolina won five straight games to complete a 6-2, 7-5 win

11:24 AM

Matches of the day

Ashleigh Barty v Bernarda Pera, Rafael Nadal v Alexei Popyrin, Novak Djokovic v Tennys Sandgren and Carla Suarez Navarro v Sloane Stephens.

We’ll keep an eye on those with a live blog of Nadal’s match to come.

11:08 AM

Early result

Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady eased past Anastasija Sevastova to reach the second round. The 13th-seeded American, who has never reached the third round at Roland Garros, won 6-3, 6-3 after breaking Sevastova at love in the final game.

10:57 AM

Support for Osaka

“The first thing to be considered is Ms. Osaka’s health. I wish her the earliest possible recovery,” Japan Tennis Association (JTA) Executive Director Toshihisa Tsuchihashi said in a statement on Tuesday.

Former British No. 1 Laura Robson felt the four Grand Slams, who threatened Osaka with an expulsion from Roland Garros and future majors, could have handled the situation better.

“Maybe if they had not let it escalate to this point then we wouldn’t be here,” Robson told the BBC.

10:47 AM

Osaka withdraws

Yesterday saw Roger Federer and Serena Williams reach the second round but the biggest story was Naomi Osaka.

The four-time champion is out of the tournament amid the backlash to her decision to not take part in press conferences. She revealed in a statement that she had been suffering from depression and anxiety since 2018.

10:31 AM

Good morning!

Hello and welcome to coverage from day 3 of the French Open.

It is the final day of first round matches in Paris and defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic headline the action with women’s top seed Ash Barty.

Nadal, who is seeking a record-extending 14th title at his favourite Grand Slam, is seeded third this year and in the same half of the draw as top seed Djokovic. Winning the title will move Nadal past Roger Federer at the top of the all-time list of men’s Grand Slam champions, with 21.

The Spaniard begins his campaign on Philippe Chatrier against Australia’s Alexei Popyrin, who he beat in straight sets in the last-16 of the Madrid Masters in March. Djokovic, who lost to Nadal in last year’s French Open final, faces American Tennys Sandgren in the evening session.

The Serb has beaten Sandgren in all three of their previous meetings, with his most recent victory over the American coming at last year’s ATP Masters tournament in Cincinnati.

Barty, the 2019 champion, opted not to defend her title last year, citing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of training time in an abbreviated season. The Australian world number one opens her quest to regain her crown against unseeded American Bernarda Pera, in the first career meeting between the two.

Meanwhile, the fallout from Naomi Osaka’s decision to withdraw from the tournament continues as the news transcends sport. “So proud of you,” Venus Williams posted on Twitter. “Take care of yourself and see you back winning soon!”

Williams’s sister Serena and younger American players Coco Gauff and Sloane Stephens also chimed in with messages of support as the focus shifted from Osaka’s responsibilities to her wellbeing. Billie Jean King echoed comments from fellow women’s tennis trailblazer Martina Navratilova about the importance of mental health.

“It’s incredibly brave that Naomi Osaka has revealed her truth about her struggle with depression,” King wrote on social media. “Right now, the important thing is that we give her the space and time she needs. We wish her well.”

There were also messages of support posted on social media from athletes in other sports, with golf’s Michelle Wie, NFL players Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett as well as multiple Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt offering their backing.

“You shouldn’t ever have to make a decision like this — but so damn impressive taking the high road when the powers that be don’t protect their own. Major respect,” wrote NBA All Star Steph Curry.