Germany’s Angelique Kerber became the first women’s top seed to lose in the opening round of the French Open with defeat by Ekaterina Makarova. Always expected to be a tough match, Makarova saved 14 of 16 break points she faced and held on to win the opening round 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 22 minutes. In the process Kerber has become the first top seed in Open Era to crash out in the first round of the French Open.
Makarova hit 27 winners to the German’s 16 but had only 19 unforced errors to her opponent’s 25. In the first set, she had only four winners and made 12 unforced errors. Her first chance to break arrived in the last game but Makarova held on. The Russian who has a best of fourth round at the French Open then took a 3-0 lead in the second set before Kerber put in a bit of a fight. But despite the Kerber’s one-off winners, it wasn’t consistent enough to win the game and see herself out of the tournament in the first round.
“It was really tough. She’s a No. 1 and she’s a great player and I knew that I have to win it; she’s not going to miss it,” Makarova said. “I was also fighting with my emotion.”
Recently Kerber climbed to top of the rankings in Serena Williams’ absence but has looked a pale shadow of the American’s dominant self. Both Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova have the chance to take top spot for the first time with good runs in Paris. However, the uncertainty in the women’s draw is very high which makes many players as the contender for the title.