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Stunner! Defending French Open champ Ostapenko out on Day 1

31 May, 2018, 18:16 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Simona Halep

Defending champion Jelena Ostapenko and seven-time Grand Slam victor Venus Williams both suffered shock first-round losses on the opening day of Roland Garros.

The 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist has not won a solitary match in the main draw at Roland Garros and bowed out with a whimper against Putintseva.

Williams had a whopping 35 unforced errors in the hard-fought match that lasted an hour and 40 minutes.

"It was bad day", she told reporters afterwards.

Kozlova managed to convert her second match point as Ostapenko's backhand failed to cross the net.

It was however supposed to be a celebration for the 37-year-old, who in her 21st appearance at Roland Garros, was playing her 100th match but the Chinese underdog had other ideas.

US Open champion Sloane Stephens was clearly in a hurry, dropping just two games in a 6-2 6-0 win over Arantxa Rus of Holland.

She is now 3-0 against Ostapenko, however.

By losing, Ostapenko joins a ignominious group including, as well as Myskina, Steffi Graf, Jennifer Capriati, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Angelique Kerber who all lost as Grand Slam champions on the first run of their defenses.




Sunday was also a low point for Venus as she lost 6-4, 7-5 to Wang.

Williams was knocked out of the Australian Open in the first round in January and experienced the same fate on the famous clay in the French capital. The Croatian eliminated Wang's compatriot Wang Yafan 6-2, 6-3. "Then you lose a match, and it is no longer possible to be positive". "The day began not like in a nice way and I knew that something like that can happen but I was trying to be positive and to think positive, but in the end I couldn't really do that". She racked up unforced errors (48) and double faults (13) facing an opponent who was not expecting such an outcome. "In general I played maybe like 20 per cent of what I can play", said Ostapenko.

Second seed Alexander Zverev got his French Open title bid off to the ideal start with a 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 thrashing of Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis.

Rus was in the first round as a "lucky loser".

Women's fourth seed Elina Svitolina, a quarterfinalist in Paris in 2015 and 2017, overcame a first set 1-5 deficit to see off Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-3.

Venus Williams and rain are on the schedule as the year's second Grand Slam tournament is set to start at Roland Garros.

"There really are no ideal days in tennis, so." the 37-year-old mused enigmatically. "It didn't surprise me that she played well - everybody plays me well".

Instead, the in-form Alexander Zverev, who is seeded second, will be the highest seed in action in the men's singles draw.

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