Sports

Kerber in historic loss, tearful Kvitova returns

Kerber in historic loss, tearful Kvitova returns

The German became the first top seeded woman to lose in the opening round of the French Open since the sport went professional in 1968.

Kerber of Germany was shocked at Roland Garros on the first day of the major tournament, losing 6-2, 6-2 to 40th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova of Russian Federation.

Kerber has enjoyed little success at the French Open previously, having progressed beyond the fourth round on only one occasion, while she also dropped out at the first stage last season.

Cutting a troubled figure on court a world away from the feisty baseliner who last season battled her way to two Grand Slam titles, Kerber lacked the pace and power to trouble her fellow left-hander.

Angelique Kerber suffered the ignominy of becoming the first women's number one seed of the Open Era to be eliminated from the French Open in the first round on Sunday (28 May).

Makarova, now ranked 40 after reaching a career high of eight, kept Kerber at arm's length and opened up a double break for 3-0 in the second set. The 29-year-old German slumped to a dispiriting 6-2, 6-2 defeat to experienced Ekaterina Makarova of Russian Federation yesterday.

Four successive breaks of serve followed before Makarova saved seven break points in the crucial eighth game to cause the upset. "I was also fighting with my emotion". The match was interrupted twice by rain showers, but McNeil played attacking tennis to snap Graf's reign at the All-England Club.

At the start of the tournament Kerber had said she had to try to fall in love with clay, but she didn't.

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Makarova will face either Lesia Tsurenko or Kateryna Kozlova in the second round. "She's a great player, I knew that she wasn't going to miss it, and that I had to win it".

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova outclassed Julia Boserup of the United States 6-3, 6-2, falling to her knees in celebration in the moment of victory before weeping at the net.

"I won the match today but I knew I had already won", she added, referencing the initial nightmare scenario where she feared she'd lose the fingers on her left playing hand.

"So it was a real pleasure to play in front of them and play how I played".

Kvitova was playing for the first time since she was stabbed during an attempted burglary at her home in the Czech Republic in December.

There was quite a bit of that against Boserup, who was making her debut in the French Open's main draw and facing a lefty for the first time.

Anisimova, ranked 267, won the first set but Nara fought back to win 3-6 7-5 6-4.

None of the favorites has received an easy paths through to the finals at the French Open, but the draw has set up some interested potential matchups.

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