Petra Kvitova Makes Emotional Return to Tennis

Petra Kvitova Makes Emotional Return to Tennis

IT wasn't Petra Kvitova's finest grand slam display but it was arguably the most important of the enigmatic Czech star's career.

It was the second successive first round exit at Roland Garros for Kerber, the reigning US Open champion - last year, she fell to unseeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.

Olympic champion Monica Puig sent veteran Italian Roberta Vinci to her 10th first-round loss in 13 visits, winning 6-3 3-6 6-2.

"And the expectations are also from me really big, of course, because I know what I can do, what I did previous year". Earlier in 2004, Justin Hennin and Serena Williams took the second round in 2014.

Playing only her second competitive match since the December knife attack, the 27-year-old battled back from 3-1 down in the second set only to lose the tie-break by coughing up a double fault.

Double faults at 4-3 in both tiebreakers, including one on match point, will irritate Kvitova, but this French Open has to be considered a bonus.

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"Courage was everything I needed to come back and play here".

One of the most universally well-liked players in the sport, congratulations quickly poured in, including from Martina Navratilova and Andrea Petkovic.

"She played a good match".

"Of course, I'm disappointed that the clay-court season was not so good", Kerber said.

Then, addressing her guest box, which included her parents and brother, she said: "Thank you for everything you helped me through (in) this hard time".

Yesterday started the French Open in the first round of the top of the selection of girls category. Williams, who won the year's first major in Australia, is on a break for the rest of the year, awaiting the birth of her first child.

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The twice Wimbledon champion, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2012, looked poised and focused, treating the sparse Court Philippe Chatrier crowd to a few exquisite drop shots and lightning-quick forehands. While I'm sure Kvitova will hit a physical wall at some point due to the lack of matches under her belt, she played well enough to win another match and advance to the third round.

"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.

"There is much bigger expectation this year, especially in the big tournament and Grand Slams".

Venus Williams, a straight-sets victor Sunday, made her 20th appearance at the French Open, the most by any woman in the Open era.

It is no secret that clay is Kerber's least favourite surface, and her 3-5 win-loss record on the red dirt this season (including Fed Cup) is testament to that.

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