PARIS, (Reuters) – In a French Open theatre of contrasting emotions yesterday, just swinging a racket in a competitive match was a victory in itself for Petra Kvitova, while another grand slam champion could hardly wait to get off the court.
Five months after a burglar stuck a knife through her playing hand, Czech 15th seed Kvitova became the first player to advance to the second round with a 6-3 6-2 win against American Julia Boserup.
The 27-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion dropped her racket and hid tears behind her hands after match point.
If Kvitova was crying for joy, another double grand slam winner who followed her onto the main Philippe Chatrier showcourt, world number one Angelique Kerber, cut a troubled figure in gaining an unwelcome distinction that brought a difficult season to a new low.
Bowing out at the hands of 40th-ranked Russian Ekaterina Makarova, the German became the first top seeded woman to lose in the opening round of the French Open since the sport turned professional in 1968.
Here are the highlights from day one of the French Open tennis championships yesterday (all times GMT):
1915: CIBULKOVA BEATS ARRUABARRENA VECINO
– Slovakian sixth seed Dominika Cibulkova beat Lara Arruabarrena Vecino of Spain 6-2 6-1.
The 2009 Roland Garros semi-finalist chalked up only her second win on clay this season after struggling on the surface in the run-up to the Paris major.
1805: POUILLE BESTS BENNETEAU IN ALL-FRENCH EPIC
– Sixteenth seed Lucas Pouille was given a scare by fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau, who led two-sets-to-one before the higher-ranked player found an extra gear to come through.
– The compatriots slugged it out for close to 3-1/2 hours in hot, humid conditions, embracing warmly at the end after Pouille sealed a 7-6(6) 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 win.
1730: VENUS WILLIAMS STRUGGLES THROUGH
– American Venus Williams battled through on Court Suzanne Lenglen to beat China’s Wang Qiang 6-4 7-6(3), hitting 44 unforced errors in an untidy display.
– The 10th seed fell a break behind in the second set but regained her composure to force a tiebreak, which she won easily.
1640: ANISIMOVA GOES DOWN FIGHTING
– American wildcard Amanda Anisimova, at 15 years and nine months the youngest player in the women’s main draw since France’s Alize Cornet in 2005, came close to upsetting the form book against 90th-ranked Japan’s Kurumi Nara.
Anisimova, ranked 267, eventually went down 3-6 7-5 6-4 in a seesaw match that lasted just over 2-1/2 hours.
Cornet won her first-round match in 2005 before losing to Amelie Mauresmo in the second.
1525: THIEM DEMOLISHES TOMIC
– Austrian sixth seed Dominic Thiem blazed through his first-round match with a 6-4 6-0 6-2 demolition of Australian Bernard Tomic.
– Thiem, one of the dark horses of the tournament, reached the semi-finals last year.
1420: DIMITROV EASES PAST HOME HOPE ROBERT
– 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov defeated Stephane Robert 6-2 6-3 6-4.
– The 26-year-old Bulgarian reached the second round at Roland Garros for the first time in four years.
1400: KUZNETSOVA BOOKS SECOND-ROUND SPOT
– Eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova completed a 7-5 6-4 victory over American Christina McHale.
– Kuznetsova, the 2009 French Open winner, will face the winner of the first-round match between Italy’s Camila Giorgi and home favourite Oceane Dodin.
1210: WORLD NUMBER ONE KERBER SUFFERS FIRST-ROUND EXIT
– Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova stunned world number one Angelique Kerber to win 6-2 6-2
– It was the second consecutive year that Kerber had suffered a first-round defeat at Roland Garros.
– The 29-year-old German became the first top-seeded woman to lose in the first round at the French Open since the sport went professional in 1968.
1115: PUIG EDGES PAST VINCI IN THREE SETS
– 31st-seed Roberta Vinci fell in the opening round to Olympic champion Monica Puig 6-3 3-6 6-2. – It was the 10th time Vinci lost in the first round in her 13 career appearances at Roland Garros.
– Puig suffered an injury setback after taking a tumble at the start of the second set but clawed back to claim the decisive third.
1030: KVITOVA STORMS PAST BOSERUP ON HER MUCH-AWAITED RETURN
– 15th-seed Petra Kvitova defeated American Julia Boserup 6-3 6-2 on her much-awaited return to competition five months after being stabbed during a burglary.
– The 27-year-old Czech, playing with a protected ranking, dominated the match from the opening exchanges.
– Boserup, who was making her third grand slam appearance, failed to match Kvitova’s powerful groundstrokes and conceded the match that lasted an hour and 14 minutes.