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Biggest upsets on Day 1 at the French Open

Last updated on: May 30, 2021 23:09 IST
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Thiem knocked out by Andujar in French Open first round

Dominic Thiem

IMAGE: Spain's Pablo Andujar shakes hands with Austria's Dominic Thiem after winning his first round match. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Two-time runner-up Dominic Thiem was knocked out in the first round of the French Open by Spanish journeyman Pablo Andujar 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-4 in the first major upset of the claycourt Grand Slam on Sunday.

 

 

It first seemed that Andujar's win against 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer in Geneva earlier this month would count for nothing. But Austrian Thiem's game began to unravel after a dominant start on court Philippe Chatrier.

Thiem, who reached the final in Paris in 2018 and 2019, had never lost in the opening round at Roland Garros, but that prospect grew as Andujar went for his shots and unsettled his 27-year-old opponent.

Thiem broke back after conceding a break in the first game of the decider, but Andujar kept on piling up the pressure with deep strokes and broke again for 3-2.

The 35-year-old, ranked 68th in the world, then held serve throughout to claim victory after nearly four-and-a-half hours after Thiem made a total of 66 unforced errors.

Dominic Thiem

IMAGE: Dominic Thiem in action during his match against Pablo Andujar. Photograph: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Thiem, who took a break to 'reset his game' earlier this season and also battled injuries, entered the tournament short of confidence and Sunday's clash with Andujar showed he had yet to rediscover his touch even though he had reached the semi-finals at the Madrid Masters this month.

"I was not struggling at all with my motivation but the game was just not there today," he said.

"Like all the shots are missing power. They are not accurate enough. I'm moving not well enough, so everything in my game there are some percents missing."

Andujar, on the other hand, was on a roll after beating Federer on the Geneva clay.

"I believed in myself because I played well (against Federer) two weeks ago. Usually being drawn against Thiem is a bad draw," the Spaniard said.

"Winning today against a player like him is like a gift, even if he has not been at his best recently, because I'm 35 and I don't know how long I'm going to be playing for."

"Beating Roger was an even bigger gift. I feel like Father Christmas came to my home."

Three-time major champ Angelique Kerber loses

Angelique Kerber

IMAGE: Germany's Angelique Kerber in action. Photograph: Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters

Three-time Grand Slam champion and former No.1 Angelique Kerber already is gone from the French Open with a third consecutive first-round loss.

The 26th-seeded Kerber was beaten 6-2, 6-4 by Anhelina Kalinina, a qualifier from Ukraine ranked 139th making her tournament debut.

In an indication that the 26th seed, who has never made it past the quarter-finals here despite winning the other three Grand Slams once each, is not a top name on clay, Kerber was scheduled to play on the outside court 14.

In her last six tries she has failed to make it past the opening round on five occasions.

Kerber is now eager to play on a surface on which she fares better.

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Source: REUTERS
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