Paris, May 28: World No.1 woman tennis player Angelique Kerber of Germany became the first women’s top seed to crash out from French Open’s first round in Open Era stunned by Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 6-2 here on Sunday.
Kerber led 7-4 against Makarova in previous meetings, while displaying lackluster performance in clay season this year as she just had a personal best of last 16, reports Xinhua news agency.
Kerber failed to withstand the strong forehand and backhand attack from her opponent as she lost the first set 6-2 in 38 minutes.
Makarova nailed three games in a row into the second set, before Kerber broke in the fourth game in an unfamiliar manner. Leading 5-2 into her service, Makarova sealed the victory with a powerful forehand to deny Kerber’s quest for the Suzanne Lenglen trophy.
Kerber could also face a challenge of losing her top position on WTA world rankings if second-seeded Karolina Pliskova managed to make into the final.
“She played a good match. It’s a tough first round. I had a few chances in both sets, but I didn’t make them. That’s the key to this match,” said Kerber, adding that slow movement on clay was to blame for her stunning loss.
“On clay I’m not feeling so good especially on my movement. Normally I can move well, but on clay, it’s always different and difficult for me. I think that’s the most important (for my loss),” she said.
“There is much bigger expectation this year, especially in the big tournament and Grand Slams. I have to find myself again and try to forget the clay season as soon as possible, and reset for the grass season again.
“Now I have a little bit more time to think about what we will do in the next few weeks, and how I prepare for the grass season.”
Makarova outscored 27-16 in winners, and suffered six less unforced errors than the top seed.
“It’s a special day and total different emotions,” the Russian player commented on beating the world’s top player.
“I didn’t think that I will play No. 1. But it happened. I just went there and was fighting and tried to show my good tennis,” she added.
Meanwhile, Czech Petra Kvitova advanced to French Open second round, winning her first match against American player Julia Boserups in her comeback match after a left-hand surgery.
The two-time Wimbledon champion won 6-3, 6-2 against Boserup in a match which lasted around an hour and 13 minutes, reports Efe.
The 27-year-old had to undergo a four-hour operation to repair tendons and nerves in her left hand after sustaining knife wounds from an attacker at her home in Prostejov, Czech Republic, on December 20. Doctors said it would take her six months to recover.
Kvitova is set to face the winner of the match between America’s Bethanie Mattek-Sand and Russian Evgeniya Rodina.
Puerto Rican Monica Puig defeated Italian Roberta Vinci while Argentinian tennis player Horacio Zeballos stunned French Adrian Mannarino to advance to the second round.
Puig won 6-3, 3-6 and 6-2 over Vinci in an hour and 50 minutes while the 32-year-old Argentinian made a 7-5, 6-3 and 6-4 over Mannarino.
In another match, Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky defeated Sara Sorribes, who became the first Spanish woman to lose to the Swiss tennis player in the French Open.
Bacsinszky reached French Open round two after winning 6-1 and 6-2 over Sorribes in an hour and 22 minutes.