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French Open: Kerber, Venus ousted; Federer cruises

Last updated on: May 26, 2019 23:47 IST

Anastasia Potapova

IMAGE: Anastasia Potapova  played fearlessly throughout the match. Photograph: French Open/Twitter

The French Open witnessed a stunning upset on its very first day as 18-year-old Anastasia Potapova outclassed Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-2 in the first round match on Sunday. 

 

World number 81 Potapova played fearlessly throughout the match against the number five seed Kerber. This is Potapova's first appearance at the Roland Garros and this was just her second career meeting with a top ten player. Kerber, who was chasing a career Grand Slam, had no answer to the attacking gameplay shown by her Russian opponent.

From the very beginning, Potapova was in blistering form and Kerber was not able to match her intensity. Kerber showed some signs of early-tournament nerves. Twice she found herself a breakdown, but she was able to respond immediately.

But when Potapova broke for the third time, it was too late for Kerber to respond as the first set slipped away from her. Kerber's tallied up just eight winners to 11 unforced errors and as a result, she lost the first set 4-6.

Potapova registered 13 winners to just 12 unforced errors in the first set.

With confidence reigning high, Potapova showcased high confidence through her gameplay.

Potapova showed no signs of nerves. In the end, she was able to take the second set easily and ended up winning the first round match, registering the biggest win of her career so far.

Potapova will next face either Wang Yafan or Marketa Vondrousova in the second round of the French Open. 

Federer cruises past Lorenzo Sonego in first round

Roger Federer

IMAGE: Roger Federer outclassed Sonego in the first-round match that lasted for about an hour and 41 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Photograph: French Open/Twitter

Roger Federer had an ideal start to his French Open campaign as he defeated Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round match. 

The world number three outclassed Sonego in the first-round match that lasted for about an hour and 41 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Federer, who is playing his third tournament on clay this year, looked in an impeccable form on the court, making early moves moving well to force Sonego work hard for every point.

The Swiss tennis legend fired 30 winners and 13 unforced errors in the match and Sonego won just 13 points on the return. He was able to break Federer once but he did not give a serious challenge to such a strong opponent.

As a result of this win, the 37-year-old Federer registered his 343rd Grand Slam win and the 66th in Paris.

Federer won the first two sets reasonably easily and nothing much changed in the third set as well. Federer stood firm in his games, he just had to work harder to forge the lead. He wasted the first four break points before the crucial break at 4-4 with a backhand crosscourt winner to sail into the second round.

Federer will next take on Germany's Oscar Otte in the second-round of the French Open.

Earlier in the day, Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Germany's Maximilian Marterer 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(4) to progress to the second round of the French Open.

The sixth-seeded Tsitsipas won 17 of his 22 net points and he was able to break the German four times on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Tsitsipas reached his second ATP Masters finals earlier this month in the Madrid Open and he was defeated in the finals by Novak Djokovic.

Venus Williams knocked out of French Open

American tennis player Venus Williams was knocked out of French Open as she was defeated by world number nine Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-3 in the first round. 

Svitolina, who has been a two-time Roland Garros quarter-finalist, had been struggling with injury during the clay-court season. However, the Ukrainian looked in good form in the first round match that lasted about one hour and 13 minutes.

Williams, who is currently ranked 52, had no answers and was seen struggling throughout the match. 

Svitolina finished the match with 16 winners, one more than Williams, and the American's 34 unforced errors well outpaced Svitolina's 15.

Svitolina also won a stunning 63 per cent of points off of the Williams serve.

Svitolina, as a result of this win, has set up an all-Ukrainian affair in the second round, as she will next face her compatriot Kateryna Kozlova.

Kozlova eliminated American qualifier Bernarda Pera, 6-2, 7-6(5), in the first round match earlier. 

Source: ANI
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