The Latest: Tennis mixes with tropical plants at French Open


PARIS (AP) – The Latest on the French Open (all times local):


11:50 a.m.

Tennis and tropical plants, an incongruous mix beautifully blended on the new Court Simonne Mathieu at Roland Garros.

The airy, sunken arena with two tiers of seating and surrounded on all four sides by steamy tropical greenhouses saw its first match on the opening day of the 2019 tournament.

Set amid historic greenhouses, the arena had a difficult birth because of initial fierce opposition to its construction.

But the finished result is a triumph of taste and splendid architecture, with the glass and steel structure blending seamlessly into its surroundings.

About half of the seats were occupied for the first match, with former champion Garbine Muguruza facing Taylor Townsend.


11:35 a.m.

French Open organizers say American player Sam Querrey has withdrawn from the clay-court Grand Slam tournament.

Querrey, who was set to take on Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez in the first round, has been replaced in the main draw by lucky loser Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland.

A Wimbledon semifinalist in 2017, the 62nd-ranked Querrey cited an abdominal problem as the reason for his withdrawal.


11:15 a.m.

The year’s second Grand Slam is underway.

Under sunny skies, former No. 1 Angelique Kerber lost the first two games to 81st-ranked Anastasia Potapova in the opening match on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that Kerber has never won.

On Court Suzanne Lenglen, 11th-seeded Marin Cilic is facing Thomas Fabbiano.

Also, 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza is up against 96th-ranked American Taylor Townsend in the first match at the tournament’s newest stadium, Court Simonne Mathieu.


8:45 a.m.

Roger Federer is in action on the opening day of the French Open.

Returning to play at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015, Federer opens against 73rd-ranked Lorenzo Sonego in the third match on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Also Sunday, 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza faces 96th-ranked American Taylor Townsend in the first match at the tournament’s newest stadium, Court Simonne Mathieu.

Sixth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Federer at the Australian Open, plays Maximilian Marterer.

Others in action include: seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori; last year’s semifinalist Marc Cecchinato; last week’s Italian Open champion Karolina Pliskova, Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens.

The French Open is the only one of the four Grand Slam tournaments to begin on a Sunday.


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A gardener waters tropical plants in the greenhouses that surround the new Simonne Mathieu court prior to the first round matches of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, May 26, 2019. (AP Photo/John Leicester)