Far from her best, Kvitova shows she still has it in Paris

A French Open semi-finalist in 2012, Kvitova will face Bethanie Mattek-Sands or Evgeniya Rodina in the next round. Kvitova lost in two sets 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (5-7). She remains a fierce competitor, and she still has her sense of humor.

The Czech star was left with her career in the balance after being attacked with a knife by an intruder at her home in December. "Normally I can move very well, but on clay it's always a little bit different and hard for me", she added.

Kerber won the Australian Open and US Open titles past year and also reached the final at Wimbledon.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic returns the ball to Julia Boserup, of the U.S, in their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Sunday, May 28, 2017 in Paris. She sustained damage to the tendons, along with injuries to all five fingers and two nerves, during the attack. Kvitova has split her last six matches on clay court. 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's weird. I mean, I'm disappointed, for sure".

Kvitova said: "I think it doesn't really matter how I played but I won". "I just will focus now for grass and for tennis again".

Kvitova played remarkably well considering the circumstances and showed the weight of the occasion only at the end, dropping her racket to the clay and turning to her support camp with hand over mouth in disbelief.

"The belief and the mind, the heart, it's really important", Kvitova said afterward.

"Actually I didn't really have expectations here. But, yeah, now I can not changing anymore and trying to looking forward". I think that, you know, my game still suits on the grass, and I will do my best to be there. She is only the fifth female No. 1 seed to lose in the first round of a major. In the last game, Kerber held seven break points but Makarova fought off each one despite, she said, "fighting with my emotion".

"I think she played a good match".

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. "I won already, before".

Paris - Angelique Kerber admitted the pressure of being world number one was beginning to eat away at her fragile confidence after becoming the first top seed in French Open history to lose in the opening round.

Stay tuned to see how the action unfolds at Roland Garros. Kvitova had initially targeted Wimbledon, her favourite tournament and where she is a two-time champion, for her comeback but progressed faster than she thought so made a decision to head to Paris.

  • Julie Sanders