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French Open: Angelique Kerber knocked out in first round

May 28, 2017

World No. 1 Angelique Kerber has been eliminated by Russia's Ekaterina Makarova in the first round of the French Open. The German becomes the first women's no. 1 to lose in this way at Roland Garros in the Open era.

Frankreich Angelique Kerber verliert gegen Ekaterina Makarova auf den French Open
Image: picture alliance/dpa/AP Photo/P. D. Josek

Germany's Angelique Kerber has been knocked out the 2017 French Open in the first round, losing 2-6, 2-6 in one hour and 22 minutes to Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, ranked number 40 in the WTA rankings.

The 29-year-old German thus becomes the first women's number one seed to lose in the first round of Roland Garros in the Open era - a defeat which leaves her status as world number one in the balance. 

Kerber, who hails from Bremen in northern Germany, was also knocked out of last year's French Open at the same stage, losing to the Netherlands' Kiki Bertens. 

She may have been the top seed in Paris but Kerber had struggled for form coming into the tournament, having won only three matches on clay. Indeed, she only regained her number one ranking after America's Serena Williams announced she was taking time off from the game as she expects the birth of her first child. 

And the German's lack of form was on display on the Philippe Chatrier court as her weak serve was broken a total of six times by Makarova. When it came to the decisive points, Kerber's game lacked the cutting edge to make the difference, falling 1-5 behind in the first set. 

Despite a late rally in the second set, it was too little, too late as Kerber won only two of 16 break points in the entire match.

With the top seed out on day one, the likes of Romania's Simona Halep and Karolin Pliskova of the Czech Republic now have the chance to take top spot in the world rankings with a good run in the French capital. 

Kerber's opponent Makarova, 28, will now face either Lesia Tsurenkor or Kateryna Kozlova in the second round, and with Halep having declared that up to 15 players could be in with a chance of winning the tournament, she will feel she has a great chance to go even further. 

Makanrova, 28, goes on to face Lesia Tsurenk or Kateryna Kozlova in round two, and will feel she has as good a chance as anyone to feature in the latter stages.


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