Play got under way on the first day of the 2013 French Open on Sunday in cold and blustery conditions, but it warmed up and the night match was played in pleasant weather. The first seed to fall was number eleven, Nadia Petrova of Russia. She took the first set in her match against 85th ranked Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-3 in three quarters of an hour, but dropped the fifty two minute second set 7-5. The third set, which went on for fifty five minutes, was won by Puig, which was a great reward for hanging tough throughout the match.
By far the best match of Day 1 was between 30th seed Venus Williams and 37th ranked Urszula Radwanska. It was a feast of terrific tennis, with both players using the entire court and a spectacular array of shots, especially Radwanska’s drop shots. The first set had ten breaks of serve and eventually went to a breaker. Radwanska led 6-1 before Williams stormed back to 6-5, but the Pole won the set 7-5 in one hour and eleven minutes. The second set was another marathon which also ended in a breaker after an hour and sixteen minutes. Again, Radwanska went 4-0 ahead, but Williams took the next seven points to take the set. Radwanska raced into a 4-0 lead in the decider, but with all the twists and turns in this match, it was a cliff hanger to the end. Williams held for 1-4 but so did Radwanska, to lead 5-1. Williams held and then she broke and held again to trail 4-5, but Radwanska make no mistake and took the set 6-4 in a match that lasted three hours and nineteen minutes for her finest – and well deserved – career win.
14th seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic came through a very up and down match against 107th ranked Petra Martic of Croatia 6-1 3-6 6-3. The Croat was completely outplayed in the first set but played some great tennis to take the second set. Ivanovic led 5-0 in the decider, but then Martic won three games in a row before the Serb served out for the match.