It may be the first day of main-draw play at the 2017 French Open, but we already have big headlines, as top seed Angelique Kerber made history, albeit in a bad way, becoming the first world number to lose in the first round of the claycourt Grand Slam in the Open Era, while Petra Kvitova crowned her comeback from December’s career-threatening injury with a straight-set victory.
Kerber sealed the desperate 2017 clay season with a 6-2 6-2 defeat to Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who never trailed in their encounter, as Kerber won just 49% of points behind her first serve and converted just two of 16 break point opportunities. All the German wants to do now is forget this period and turn the page during the grasscourt stretch of the year.
In other major news, Kvitova was a woman of a thousand smiles on Day 1, victoriously launching her emotional comeback from the knife injury she sustained to her left hand when a burglar attacked her in her apartment. The Czech defeated world No.85 Julia Boserup 6-3 6-2 in an impressive fashion. What’s even better, Kvitova didn’t feel any pain in her hand and now she can only look forward to her second-round meeting with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Despite the loss, the 25-year-old Boserup had only praise for her opponent and tweeted: “Congratulations to Petra Kvitova for so much more than winning a tennis match today.”
Stay tuned, as I’ll post a bunch of my photographer’s photos of Kvitova’s smiles, Kerber’s defeat and much more later today.