A revamped Roland Garros 2020 has come with a package of surprises. New conditions, time slots and match balls have a story an inscribed on them, a story that recites a pandemic. However, the COVID-19 marred tournament did see big names like Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep, Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Victoria Azarenka and Venus Williams turn up to present a fine display of tennis.

The first day started with Victoria Azarenka walking off, cursing the weather. She beat Danka Kovinic 6-1, 6-2 in straight sets.

The Belarusian seemed annoyed after being asked to not leave the court despite the chills.

“No, it’s eight degrees, I live in Florida, I’m used to hot weather,” she said.

Simona Halep sent Sara Sorribes Tormo packing in straight sets. The defending champion is a favourite for the clay courts and dominated throughout the 6-4, 6-0 session.

While Simona and Victoria had it easy on the court, Venus Williams was the one who delivered the first shocker in the tournament. The former French Open runner up saw Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova take the game away in identical set scores 6-4, 6-4. The 40-year-old did fight tooth and nail but couldn’t rally past the wind and drizzle.