Paris, France, 27 May 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Day one at Roland Garros 2024 proved challenging for Australian players.

Aleksandar Vukic was left feeling “very disappointed” after bowing out in a four-set battle against world No.44 Zhang Zhizhen.

His Chinese opponent recorded a 6-4 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory in a close two-hour and 46-minute contest

“I really wanted to get through that match but you know, that’s tennis. You can’t win them all, you’ve got an opponent to beat, so credit to him,” said world No.89 Vukic, who was dealing with a left adductor injury.

“He deserved to win it, but (I’m) very gutted. I thought I had a decent clay swing and put myself in a good position, but couldn’t get over the line today.”

Jordan Thompson fell at the first hurdle too, losing to big-hitting German Maximilan Marterer in straight sets. The world No.101 dictated play, striking 34 winners in a 6-3 6-2 6-0 victory.

This is world No.36 Thompson’s fifth consecutive first-round exit in Paris.

Meanwhile, Chris O’Connell’s tournament came to an end before he could even step on court. Injury has ruled the world No.68 out of competing, with Finnish lucky loser Otto Virtanen taking his spot in the men’s singles draw.

Ajla Tomljanovic showed encouraging signs early against Australian Open 2024 semifinalist Dayana Yastresmka in their first-round women’s singles encounter.

However, Yastremska eventually edged out a 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory.

“Obviously, very disappointed. I felt like I had so many chances in that second set. It’s hard to say you’re happy with the way it went, because I lost, but considering everything, I think I played as good as I could have,” Tomljanovic conceded.

> READ: Tomljanovic shows promising signs in Roland Garros return

It was only Tomljanovic’s second match since February, following another recent health setback.

“It is only up from here, and my body so far has pulled up well, so that is a great thing,” the former world No.32 told AAP. “But it feels like I have a mountain to climb right now.

“It’s just I feel like I have to almost reprogram my mind and not think about the past, because I’m not the player I was.

“I have to build everything up from the ground again. And that’s not easy to accept mentally because you come back straight away and you’re like, ‘I want to get back from where I was’. But that’s gone. A lot of time has passed and I’m here now. It’s a process for sure.”

> READ: 10 Australian players to contest doubles at Roland Garros 2024

Aussies in action – Roland Garros

Men’s singles, first round
Maximilan Marterer (GER) d Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3 6-2 6-0
Zhang Zhizhen (CHN) d Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) 6-4 4-6 6-3 7-5

Women’s singles, first round
[30] Dayana Yastremska (UKR) d [WC] Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 3-6 6-3 6-3

Men’s singles, first round
[11] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Alex Michelsen (USA)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)
Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v Luciano Darderi (ITA)
Max Purcell (AUS) v [Q] Henri Squire (GER)
[WC] Adam Walton (AUS) v Arthur Rinderknech (FRA)

> VIEW: Roland Garros 2024 men’s singles draw

Women’s singles, first round
Daria Saville (AUS) v [12] Jasmine Paolini (ITA)

> VIEW: Roland Garros 2024 women’s singles draw

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