At 3-3 in the breaker, Herbert mistimes a forehand, addressing the ball late and on his down-jump, swiping wide. But he immediately redeems the situation when Sinner misses with a forehand, then he does so again! It’s 5-4 Herbert, and if he wins two service points, he’s 2-1 in front!
On Chatrier, Swiatek has been broken back by Juvan and now leads 6-0 4-3.
Hercog beats Bertens  6-1 3-4 6-4!
Bertens is still trying to get back to where she was before she got injured, but that’s still a great win for Hercog who weathered the storm then rode it out. Sahe plays Siegemund or Garcia next.
Back on Lenglen, Herbert has hung on for a breaker, and will fancy himself given his second serve and ability to produce the unexpected. But it’s Sinner who starts well, lashing a forehand winner down the line to hold.
Isner  beats Querrey 7-6(2) 6-3 6-4
He meets Krajinovic or Marterer next; currently, Krajinovic leads by two sets to love.
More agita from Bertens, who’s been broken for 5-4 – Hercog will now serve for the match – whole Watson has broken Diyas in the first game of their match.
In commentary, they wonder if Sinner has recovered from whatever required him to get the trainer on – apparently he told him he felt strange – but he’s looking himself again now, and Herbert is serving to stay in a third set that was previously in his pocket.
On court nine, Heather Watson is just underway – she’s playing Zarina Dias of Kazakhstan, ranked 22 places below her but better on clay.
Oooh yeah! An outrageous backhand cross-court – from deep in the corner and almost facing the wrong way – gives Sinner 0-30, and Herbert then dumps a volley! That’s three break-back points … and a majestic return means Sinner only needs one! From 2-5 he’s now 5-5, and that’s why he’s a superstar. Sinner 6-1 4-6 5-5 Herbert
It’s Tan who’ll play Vondrousova next; she’s beaten Cornet 4 and 4.
On Chatrier, it’s taken slightly longer in set two but Swiatek has broken again, so leads Juvan 6-0 3-1.
Bertens has broken Hercog and will be in round two with two holds … no she won’t, she’s broken back to 15 immediately; inwardly, her racket winces. Sinner, meanwhile has retrieved one of Herbert’s breaks and looks to be in working order again. Can he save the third set?
That Sinner be rusty is not especially surprising, but given how beautifully he played in the first set, the drop-off is very odd. Herbert has improved a lot, but not enough to make someone so technical and tough look as ragged and tentative as he now does.
HAVE A LOOK! Herbert earns a point for a double-break and seizes it with a sensational backhand down the line! Sinner is in all sorts here, being directed about the court by a player known better as a doubles champ. Can he respond? Sinner 6-1 4-6 2-5 Herbert
Vondrousova  beats Kanepi 4-6 6-3 6-0
That’s a bazzer of a comeback – Kanepi is a nasty first-round draw – and meets Tan or Cornet next. Currently, Tan leads 6-4 5-4.
Tiafoe has taken the second set against Johnson to lead 2-0. I’m not sure clay is his surface, but I’d love to see him fulfil his potential; he’s got a lot to do to make that happen.
Vondrousova has found herself and no mistake – she now leads Kanepi 5-0 in the decider, while Bertens and Hercog are at 2-2.
Herbert’s second serve is working really well for him now, and he consolidates easily enough. If the pair of them keep playing as they are, there’s only one winner, and it’s him. Who expected that?
Oh! At 30-40, Sinner finds a terrific second serve … only for Herbert to find a terrificker return! This is a serious match now, Sinner’s forehand not where it was was and Herbert finding his top level. Can he keep it up? Sinner 6-1 4-6 2-3 Herbert
Eeesh! Swiatek has reversed the birthday beats tradition, and punished best-mate Juvan to the tune of a 6-0 first set. She’s looking decent.
Herbert is serving really well now and he and Sinner are locked at 2-2 in set three, while Vondrousova has her foot to the floor and leads Kanepi 3-0 in the decicer.
Sinner, 2-1 up in set two, has the medical chaps on. They have a little red bottle out – perhaps he needs some Old Spice – and check one of his fingers. But he’s soon back on court, though Herbert seems to have some kind of problem which he takes up with umpire.
I predicted more breakers in Querrey-Isner, but the number 31 seed has taken the second set 6-3 in much less time. It’s hard to see Querrey coming back from 2-0 down.
Bertens is much happier with life now, and a further break, clinched when Hercog dumps a forehand into the net, seals the second set. The number 16 seed now looks well-placed to stamp on the gas and force her way into round two.
Swiatek and Juvan are underway and it’s not taken long for superiority to be asserted, the champ holding and breaking from the get-go. Juvan 0-2 Switaek
Excellent from Vondrousova, who consolidates the breaks again her hitting more consistent than that of the powerful but erratic Kanepi. That match is now level at one set all.
Bravo Pierre-Hugues Herbert! After getting taken to school in the first set he serves out to take the second and looked pretty good doing it. Sinner 6-1 4-6 Herbert
Calvin Betton returns with more on Sinner: “He’s basically emotionless. I asked an Italian coach I know about him and he told me that it’s because he’s from a part of Italy that the Italians don’t really count as Italy. They think it’s more Austria. Everyone from there is very un-Italian. They’re calm, don’t show emotion, are very serious in their ways and demeanour.”
That’s really interesting, and the man is now facing Herbert’s serve, 4-5 down in set two; if he can’t find a break, we’re all-square.
Tiafoe has taken the breaker against Johnson, while things are hotting up in the women’s competition. Bertens is 4-1 up on Hercog in set two, and Hercog, who won the first 6-1, is vexed about an umpire’s call. Momentum looks to have switched there … and might be about to do so elsewhere, where Vondrousova has three break points. She takes the third thanks to a double from Kanepi, who now leads 6-4 3-4.
Thanks in significant part to a second-serve ace at 30-all, Herbert has consolidated his break to lead Sinner 5-3 in set two.
On Chatrier, Iga Swiatek, on her 20th birthday, is coming out to play Kaia Juvan – her best mate. Great stuff.
The second set on Lenglen has been much more competitive, and Herbert has just broken Sinner again; can he hold on this time?
Isner has taken his breaker against Querrey; I daresay we may see another one or several before that mtch is out.
Bertens hasn’t been the best of moods this morning, but she’s just squash-shotted a complete misjudgment that looked like looping into the net. So Hercog stood over it, then watched in horror as it clipped the cord, flipped over and died, handing Bertens three break-points; she takes the second and now leads 2-1 in set two having ceded the first 6-1.
Yeah, very funny mate. Sinner has broken Herbert back, of course he has, and it’s not 2-2 in set two, Sinner having won the first 6-1. On court seven, Johnson and Tiafoe are back on serve, while on 14, Isner is up a mini-break against Querrey.
Great stuff from Kaia Kanepi, who’s come back from a double-break down to take the first set against Vondrousova, the number 20 seed, 6-4.
Hello! Herbert is into this now, and skids into the net to lap a lush backhand drop along the net for his first break of the match! Sinner is under a bit of pressure, so it’ll be good to see how he responds. Meanwhile, Bertens tosses a break point and remonstrates with her racket in the strongest terms. That’ll teach it.
Bertens is a in a bind, following her break with a drop; Hercog takes the first set 6-1. Elsewhere, Tiafoe is up 4-3 on Johnson with a break, Vondrousova has lost her other break and trails Kanepi 4-5, while Isner and Querrey are 5-5.
Ah man, Sinner is a joke. Finding himself 30-40 down, he hammers down a belting second serve then plays two more tremendous points and that’s got be soul-crushing for Herbert.
At 0-5 down to Hercog, Bertens earns a break point, and though the set is almost definitely gone she’ll want to assert herself prior to the next one … and she does, a gorgeous backhand slice from well behind the line making it 1-5.
Wow, Sinner has broken again to take the first set 6-1, and is steaming hot. As if by magic, Calvin returns to qualify his Tsitsipas prediction: “Or Sinner. He’s [redacted] phenomenal. And a killer.”
Sinner is now 5-1 in front and purring. Meantime, Calvin Betton, a tennis coach mate of mine reckons Tsitsipas will be the next new major-winner, Tiafoe won’t get there and Auger Aliassime is a worry because though he was a brilliant junior, he’s not improved over the last few years. “His second serve is a major problem,” he says. “He got a golden opportunity that tennis players don’t get, coz of covid: to spend three months working on a specific area of his game with no competition or scrutiny. And it’s no better than it was before.”
When I watch Sinner – and Auger Aliassime and Tiafoe – and Tsitsipas and Medvedev – I wonder when they’ll be allowed to win a Slam. It’s impossible to look further than Nadal and Djokovic here, then Djokovic and Federer at Wimbledon. The first group aren[t quite ready but the second pair really are – and yet.
Vondrousova, who got to the final in 2019 as a teenager, was up a double break against the veteran Kanepi; Kanepi has retrieved one so is 1-3 down, while Hercog is 3-0 up on Bertens and serving.
Sinner is going to be an absolute superstar; he’s just such a natural, and after consolidating his break we see him dash to the net and flip over a winner; at 30-all, Herbert is under pressure again. But Herbert keeps the head and wins two quick points to get on the board, 1-2 and a break down.
Sinner has started well, breaking Herbert in the first game; Hercog has done likewise to Bertens, the number 15 seed.
FYI: for now, I’m watching Bertens v Hercog, Kanepi v Vondrousova and Sinner v Herbert. But I may check Johnson v Tiafoe.
Show court programme
Chatrier, from 11am BST
Juvan v Swiatek 
Bublik v Medvedev 
Istomin [Q] v Federer  (not before 4pm local)
Williams S  v Begu [not before 9pm local)
Sinner  v Herbert
Siegemund v Garcia
Kenin  v Ostapenko
Tsonga v Nishioka
Cornet v Tang
Ruud  v Paire
Cilic v Rinderknech
Muguruza  v Kostyuk
Morning all! What a day we’ve got for you today! Our show courts kick off with Iga Swiatek, who opens her title defence against Kaja Juvan – and with Jannik Sinner, the brilliant teenager who made the quarters last term, against the canny veteran Pierre-Hugues Herbert. When they’re done, we’ve got a bit of Daniil Medvedev, and later in the afternoon, there’ll be some Roger Federer, along with a frankly ridiculous matchup between last year’s defeated finalist, Sofia Kenin, and Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 champions. Add to that a a bunch of Muguruza, Cilic, Tiafoe, Mertens, Bencic, Konta, Norrie and Heather Watson – plus Roland Garros’ first-ever night session, featuring Serena Williams – and away we go!