Kerber relieved to be leaving clay behind

"Well, that's unbelievable", Makarova said when informed of her place in the history books. "And the expectations are also from me really big, of course, because I know what I can do, what I did past year", said Kerber, who won two of the three major finals she reached in 2016. Kerber has become the first ever top seed on the women's side to crash out in the opening round of Roland Garros.

Makarova won 16 of 22 points played on Kerber's second serve and broke six times.

The 40th-ranked Russian burst out to a 3-0 second-set lead and had a point for 4-0.

Kerber had admitted heading into the tournament that she was struggling to move on the clay and it showed once again as Makarova blew her away on Philippe-Chatrier. But that was about it. In the last game, Kerber held seven break points but Makarova fought off each one despite, she said, "fighting with my emotion".

"It was really tough". When we were thinking of playing here, I was telling my coaches that I really wanted to win my first match.

Dimitrov lost his opening match on his Paris debut back in 2011 and was also beaten in the first round over the past three years.

Five months after suffering career-threatening injuries when she was stabbed by an intruder in her home, Kvitova looked sharp and eager in a 6-3 6-2 triumph over Julia Boserup.

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"On clay I'm not feeling so good especially on my movement".

100/1 to win what is a soft quarter is just too big so I'll take a small slice of the price.

Kvitova has missed all season so far while recovering from surgery on her left, racket-holding hand in December. The 29-year-old is a worthy successor-at least on a temporary basis-but she has not played as well this year as she did a year ago.

"It's a pleasure to be here". I really don't know what I will do now, but for sure I will think about what is the best preparation for grass now'.

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.

On Sunday, several members of Kvitova's entourage wore black T-shirts with white capital letters on the front that read, "Courage. Belief. Pojd." That last word, which is the Czech equivalent of "Come on!" and was spelled with a red heart instead of the "O", is often yelled by Kvitova to celebrate particularly good shots.

Yesterday's setback, albeit on a surface the German has no great affection for, threatens to leave her season in tatters in which she could lose her No. 1 ranking should Karolina Pliskova reach the final, or if Simona Halep wins the title. The net seemed to have a sense of occasion and generously helped her out twice, although she scarcely needed it.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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