Restless nights await Australian trio John Millman, Samantha Stosur and Nick Kyrgios following an eventful, rain-affected day at the French Open.
On a second consecutive day affected by poor weather at Roland Garros, Millman is locked at one-set all with 15th seed John Isner, while Stosur is up a set in her first round match with Japan’s Misaki Doi before both matches were halted due to poor light.
They will resume on Tuesday morning of a bumper day for Australians at Roland Garros – with Bernard Tomic, Sam Groth, Daria Gavrilova and Arina Rodionova all in action.
But perhaps the biggest prize could fall to Kyrgios, the 17th seed who would see the bottom half of the draw blown wide open if veteran Radek Stepanek manages to close out an upset victory over world No.2 Andy Murray.
Having already landed on the opposite side of the draw to world No.1 and tournament favourite Novak Djokovic and nine-times champion Rafael Nadal, Kyrgios’ draw would improve significantly should Murray tumble.
Stepanek led the British two-time grand slam champion 6-3 6-3 0-6 2-4 when play was stopped late on Monday night with Murray having won 10 of the final 12 games.
Millman’s match is evenly poised at 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (12-14), though the 26-year-old blew a golden chance to take a two-set advantage into Tuesday, when he failed to capitalise on eight set points in the second-set tiebreak.
Having stared down the biggest serve in men’s tennis, Millman missed an uncharacteristic error on a regulation smash to concede the second set tiebreak 14-12.
Stosur’s match started in near darkness, but it didn’t hinder her efforts to romp through the first set though she conceded a second-set break to take a 6-2 1-3 lead into day three.
Millman and Stosur will be looking to emulate the efforts of wildcard Jordan Thompson in joining Kyrgios in the second round.
The 22-year-old produced some fine fighting tennis to eliminate Serbian qualifier Laslo Djere 6-3 6-4 7-5 and set up a maiden second round berth, where he will face giant Croatian 27th seed Ivo Karlovic.
With tennis hero Lleyton Hewitt in his support team, Thompson finally tasted grand slam victory after three round-one exits at the Australian Open.
“(There’s) a bit of relief, excitement, all in one – I can’t really describe it,” Thompson said of his first grand slam win.
“It’s unbelievable to win a grand slam match. It’s awesome. I couldn’t ask for much more.”
HOW THE AUSTRALIANS FARED ON DAY TWO OF THE FRENCH OPEN (PREFIX DENOTES SEEDING):
Men’s singles, first round
Jordan Thompson bt Laslo Djere 6-3 6-4 7-5
John Millman v 15-John Isner (USA) 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (12-14)
Women’s singles, first round
Samantha Stosur leads Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-2 1-3