Defending champion Ostapenko, Venus Williams suffer shock French Open exits
- Author: Stacy Allen May 31, 2018,
May 31, 2018, 18:16
Latvia's fifth seed Jelena Ostapenko became only the second defending champion to lose in the first round of Roland Garros when she slumped to a shock 7-5, 6-3 defeat by Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine on Sunday.
The British No. 1 has never won a match in Paris in four appearances in the main draw. Also, the Ukrainian made less unforced errors - 22, while the Latvian made 48.
All in all, it was quite a Day 1 at the only Grand Slam site that gets things started on a Sunday.
Ostapenko was dethroned by 66th-ranked Kateryna Kozlova on the first day of the Roland-Garros.
Fellow American Sloane Stephens, seeded 10th, had no problems in her opener, breezing to a 6-2, 6-0 win over Arantxa Rus of Netherlands.
Ostapenko added that she suffered a leg injury after the Italian Open in Rome earlier this month, and she was not 100 per cent fit.
Wang beat Williams 6-4 7-5, coincidentally in 100 minutes.
In all the 4 Slams, it's only the 6th time in the Open era that the defending champion has perished at the first hurdle.
Venus Williams crashed to a straight-sets defeat in the opening round, losing 6-4 7-5 to China's Qiang Wang on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.
Serena Williams, owner of three French Open titles and 23 major singles trophies overall, returns to Grand Slam action for the first time since winning the 2017 Australian Open - and first time since giving birth to a daughter last September. "Then you lose a match, and it is no longer possible to be positive". I think it's great. "In general I played maybe like 20 per cent of what I can play", said Ostapenko.
Alize Cornet advanced in her homeland, while fellow seeds Barbora Strycova and Anett Kontaveit came through their opening matches.
Among the women, No. 1 Simona Halep shook off a slow start in a postponed first-round match to defeat Alison Riske of the US 2-6, 6-1, 6-1, while second-round winners included reigning major champions Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens, along with No. 4 Elina Svitolina, No. 8 Petra Kvitova and No. 13 Madison Keys.
Safwat got into the field as a "lucky loser", someone who failed to make it out of the qualifying rounds but is given a berth when another player withdraws.
That was all part of the eight-game run for Svitolina that gave her that set and a 2-0 lead in the second. "We try to play our best".
"I wasn't at my best, he played with a lot of spin", said the former world No. 1, who dropped serve three times against the 134th-ranked Brazilian.