Angelique Kerber knocked out of 2017 French Open

"And the expectations from me also are really big because I know what I can do and what I did a year ago".

PARIS (AP) — Angelique Kerber has not been playing at all like someone ranked No. 1 this season, and on Sunday she became the first woman seeded No. 1 to lose in the French Open's first round in the professional era.

In the preceding match on Court Philippe Chatrier, Kvitovas eyes welled with tears at the end of her 6-3, 6-2 win against 86th-ranked Julia Boserup of the United States.

World number one Angelique Kerber's nightmare season hit a new low yesterday when, with expectations weighing heavily after a stellar 2016, she was dumped out of the French Open 6-2 6-2 by 40th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova. Leading 5-2 into her service, Makarova sealed the victory with a powerful forehand to deny Kerber's quest for the Suzanne Lenglen trophy.

There were a few signs of Kvitova's long absence - this was her first match since November 12 - but the good far outweighed the bad and she struck her signature forehand with familiar clout. "I think that's the most important (for my loss)", she said. And the expectations are also from me really big because I know what I can do, what I did previous year. The 10th seed fell a break behind in the second set but regained her composure to force a tiebreak, which she won easily. Its great to see her come back.”.

Makarova nailed three games in a row in the second set, before Kerber broke in the fourth game in an unfamiliar manner.

The 27-year-old was able to fend the attacker off, who then fled, and later said she was "shaken, but fortunate to be alive".

Kvitova, who needed surgery on her left hand after a home-invasion attack last December, fired nine aces.

"Coming to Roland Garros was one of the things, which we were [doing in] preparing for Wimbledon - we do have a lot of attention here", Kvitova said on the tournament where she is a two-time champion.

Makarova dictated play for the bulk of the match and overcame an apparent bout of nerves late on, which saw her twice drop serve with the winning line in sight only to immediately restore her two-break advantage.

Bulgarian 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov coasted past France s Stephane Robert 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 to register his first win in Paris in four years.

Petra Kvitova was knocked out of the French Open on Wednesday as Bethanie Mattek-Sands produced an outstanding performance against the 15th seed on Court 1. "On the other hand, maybe that is just what she (Kerber) needs, because it will make sure that she is concentrated right from the start".

Paris: Serena Williams may be missing from this year's French Open, but big sister Venus is still going strong and marks her Roland Garros 20th anniversary on Sunday.

  • Julie Sanders