Kerber suffers shocking first round exit at Roland Garros

Ruben Hill
May 30, 2017

Monica Puig, who shares an agent with Kvitova, was fighting her way through a three-setter against Roberta Vinci at the same time as the Czech, on the nearby Court 2, and says her mind drifted to Court Philippe Chatrier briefly during her own first round.

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

Two-time Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova returned to tennis yesterday after a harrowing attack in 2016 left her with severed tendons and in need of a long recuperation.

She found her father, Jiri, and her brother, also Jiri, who greeted her with warm embraces and joyous kisses on the cheek.

Kvitova exceeded all expectations with her superb performance, but the Czech feels she is likely to improve through further time on the practice courts.

Back in action for the first time since being stabbed by an intruder in her own apartment in December, the dual Wimbledon champion exulted in a 6-3 6-2 victory over outclassed American Julia Boserup.

"It's a pleasure to be here, I'm really glad to have made the decision that I'm going to play here", said Kvitova afterwards. She also performed the unexpected in her first round, winning in just over an hour.

Stat of the day: Kerber is the first women's top seed in nearly half a century of professional tennis to go out in the first round.

"For us, it's wonderful".

"The motivation that I had today was fantastic, and I really didn't want to lose. Belief. Pojd." That last word, which is the Czech equivalent of "Come on!" and was spelled on the shirts with a red heart instead of the "o", is often yelled by Kvitova to celebrate particularly good shots. "So that's. what we try to show everyone".

This marked Kerber's 11th consecutive trip to the French Open with her best showing when she journeyed to the 2012 quarterfinals.

"She's one of the nicest girls, and we are all really happy to see her back". She broke twice in the second, sealing victory when Boserup netted a forehand. Ruano Pascal won swiftly in 67 minutes, and Hingis revealed afterward that her preparation for Wimbledon was inhibited by tendinitis in her lower back. "It was really special". I surprised myself with the forehand victor straightaway.

Next up for Williams is a meeting with Kurumi Nara, but she could have been facing a player more than 20 years her junior.

Kvitova hit a total of 31 winners and possessed a dominating 9-0 advantage in aces.

The very first point from the 27-year-old saw her hit a signature forehand victor, which was a surprise even to Kvitova herself.

She added: "The pressure is always there. And we're all happy for her".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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