Top seed Kerber loses on Day 1

Top seed Kerber loses on Day 1

"I'm really glad that we made the decision I would play here", the 15th seed said in an on-court interview.

Kerber, who replaced Williams atop the WTA rankings this month, was gone from Roland Garros by lunchtime on Day 1, putting up little resistance while being beaten 6-2, 6-2 by 40th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova of Russian Federation. "So it's a victory for her to be back on court".

That picture offers the starkest of contrasts with a spectacular 2016 that also brought her major wins in the Australian and U.S. Opens and a runner-up spot at Wimbledon. "Winning matches", she said prior to Sunday's loss. Since then, he has become a regular fixture at the hospital (rumours that he has a loyalty card with his local A&E remain unfounded) needing foot surgery this year, elbow surgery last year, treatment for leg and foot problems two years ago, help with a leg injury in 2013, leg surgery in 2012 and therapy for back problems in 2010.

As one reporter pointed out in Kvitova's postmatch news conference, this is just the first of many tournaments in which Kvitova will be welcomed and questioned about her comeback.

Williams, seeded 10 and three weeks shy of her 37th birthday, had to dig deep to see off her opponent who had led 4-2 in the first set and 5-3, with set points, in the second.

In utmost fairness, regardless of these statements justifying her intent in the match, was Kerber's performance wholly surprising? But that was about it.

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Four successive breaks of serve followed before Makarova saved seven break points in the crucial eighth game to cause the upset.

"It was really tough". "I won the match today but I knew I had already won", she added in reference to the initial nightmare scenario in which she feared she'd lose the fingers on her left playing hand.

Kerber appeared to get back into the match when she recovered one break but the German immediately dropped her serve again.

Kvitova, who is returning from a lengthy lay-off after a harrowing knife attack at her home in December, defeated 6-3, 6-2 in a match that lasted for one hour and 33 minutes.

Svetlana Kuznetsova, the eighth-seeded 2009 champion, survived two time warnings to make the second round by seeing off Christina McHale of the United States 7-5 6-4. Then, and even a few months later, Kvitova's doctors were not sure when she would be able to play again, if ever.

"It's a pleasure to be here. I maybe thought that I would cry when I step on the court, but I didn't today, which actually I was happy, because normally I can control my emotion on the court, so I'm happy that I kind of did it, as well, this time", she said. The 31st-seeded Vinci, most famous for ending Williams' hopes of a calendar year Grand Slam by beating her in the semifinals at Flushing Meadows in 2015, lost to Rio Olympics gold medalist Monica Puig 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

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