Seeded big guns Samantha Stosur, Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios have led the way on a banner day for Australia at the French Open.
Stosur, Tomic and Kyrgios all safely progressed to the second round in Paris, while victories also on Monday for teenage ace Thanasi Kokkinakis and exciting imports Daria Gavrilova and Ajla Tomljanovic added to Australia’s flying start to the year’s second grand slam.
Riding high after claiming her first title of the year in Strasbourg at the weekend, Stosur downed rising American Madison Brengle 6-1 6-3 to raise hopes of another big run for the former runner-up and two-time semi-finalist.
Stosur’s victory thrust the women’s 26th seed into a meeting on Wednesday with French wildcard Amandine Hesse, who earlier eliminated Jarmila Gajdosova in three sets.
Still struggling with a virus that forced his withdrawal from last week’s Nice Open, Tomic dug in for an impressive 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory over Italian qualifier Luca Vanni.
Tomic’s first victory at Roland Garros since 2012 and Kokkinakis’ 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 success over Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili set up a second-round showstopper between the two young Davis Cup teammates.
The reward for Wednesday’s victor is a likely third-round shot at world No.1 Novak Djokovic.
Seeded at a major for the first time after spectacular charges to the Wimbledon and Australian Open quarter-finals in the past 10 months, Kyrgios outclassed Denis Istomin 6-3 6-4 6-3 in his opener.
The 20-year-old 27th seed next faces either Brit Kyle Edmund or Frenchman Stephane Robert, both qualifiers, and has a golden opportunity to set up a potential third-round blockbuster with Andy Murray.
Tomljanovic was the first of the six Australian winners on Monday, storming past compatriot Casey Dellacqua 6-2 6-2 in just 62 minutes.
The 22-year-old world No.58 struck 29 winners to Dellacqua’s seven to progress to a second-round showdown on Wednesday with German 11th seed Angelique Kerber.
Gavrilova added to Australia’s triumphant day with 6-1 7-6 (7-3) victory over Swede Johanna Larsson.
The Russian-born 21-year-old’s first-ever grand slam win set up a second-round clash with German seed Sabine Lisicki.
But like Dellacqua, fellow Australians Jarmila Gajdosova, Sam Groth and Marinko Matosevic crashed out of the claycourt major on day two.
Gajdosova suffered a disappointing 2-6 6-3 6-2 loss to French wildcard Amandine Hesse, her ex-husband Groth was gallant in a 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-3 6-3 loss to accomplished 21st seed Pablo Cuevas and Matosevic went down 6-1 6-2 6-4 to Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.