What happened at the French Open was more surprising than the first two days of competition at the Roland Garros. Two of the top-five seeded women singles players exited the tournament...
Bacsinszky stops Bouchard to reach third round
As a ten-game meltdown in her second-round French Open exit demonstrated, Eugenie Bouchard is still prone to losing her way on court in dramatic fashion.
Eighth seed Timea Bacsinszky survived a tricky second round against 2014 runner-up Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 6-4.
Bouchard, who has slumped down the rankings after reaching number five in 2014, led 4-1, then lost 10 games in a row before mounting a late comeback attempt.
"The brain is like a muscle. You got to work it out," Bouchard, tipped as the new queen of tennis not so long ago, said of her ongoing battle to rediscover the mental strength needed to survive in the higher echelons.
Only one women's seed fell on Thursday, number 28 Andrea Petkovic who was beaten by Kazakh Yulia Putintseva.
Australian Open champion Kerber falls in Paris first round
Angelique Kerber discovered that being the newest member of the Grand Slam winner's club did not earn her any free points as the Australian Open champion succumbed to a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 first-round defeat by Kiki Bertens at the French Open.
Victoria Azarenka's renaissance suffered a setback when the former World No 1, hampered by a knee problem, pulled out of the French Open during her first-round match.
Kerber stepped on court wearing a striking black and white outfit but over the course of the next hour and 41 minutes, her mood had turned as grey as the dark clouds hovering over Roland Garros.
The German third seed's first Grand Slam match since triumphing at Melbourne Park in January ended in pain and despair as a shoulder injury prevented her from making much impact against hard-hitting Dutchwoman Bertens.
"I'm disappointed that I lost the first round here...that was for sure not my best tennis I played today," the dejected 28-year-old, who took a medical time out in the third set, told reporters.
"I tried to fight but she played good then in the important moments."
The result completed a hat-trick of losses for Kerber, who suffered back-to-back defeats in her opening matches in Madrid and Rome.
The claycourt season which had started so promisingly for the 28-year-old when she captured the title in Stuttgart, ended with a whimper on a cold, overcast day in front of rows of empty seats on Philippe Chatrier Court.
Injury ends Azarenka's comeback in first round
The fifth seed from Belarus finally called it a day when trailing 6-3, 6-7(6), 4-0 against Italian Karin Knapp.
Azarenka, who had begun to look back to her best this season after two injury-ravaged years, had opened up a 3-1 lead in the first set before world number 118 Knapp stepped up a gear and won five games in a row.
She called on the trainer at 3-3 in the second set after locking her right knee in the previous game.
At 5-5 she could barely serve and smashed her racquet on the court in frustration.
She still managed to force a tiebreak, which she won 8-6 after saving a match point.
But it went downhill from there and Azarenka threw in the towel after four games in the decider.