Angelique Kerber
Angelique Kerber's clay court struggles continued at Roland Garros on Sunday


  • Kerber becomes first women's top seed of the Open Era to lose in the first round at Roland Garros.
  • German beaten 6-2, 6-2 by two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist Ekaterina Makarova.
  • Kvitova brushes aside Julia Boserup in her first match following December knife attack.

Angelique Kerber suffered the ignominy of becoming the first women's number one seed of the Open Era to be eliminated from the French Open in the first round on Sunday (28 May). The two-time Grand Slam winner lost 6-2, 6-2 to 40-ranked Ekaterina Makarova on day one at Roland Garros to become the first major casualty of the tournament.

It was the second year in succession that Kerber, Australian Open and US Open singles champion in 2016, has lost her opening match in Paris. 12 months ago, she crashed out in three sets to unseeded Dutch right-hander Kiki Bertens.

The out-of-form Kerber has yet to win a title this season and mustered just two victories in clay court tournaments before the French Open, where her best performance remains a quarter-final berth in 2012.

She will be left ruing her latest premature exit, particularly given that it comes at a major where there is no clear women's singles favourite with Serena Williams awaiting the arrival of her first child and Maria Sharapova controversially denied a wildcard by French Tennis Federation president (FFT) Bernard Giudicelli.

There was better news for Petra Kvitova, who made a winning return to competitive tennis in the day's opening contest following five months out. The double Wimbledon champion, who required nearly four hours of surgery on the tendons and nerves in her left playing hand after being stabbed by an intruder during a burglary at her apartment in the Czech city of Prostejov in December, breezed past American Julia Boserup 6-3, 6-2 in front of her parents and brothers on Court Philippe Chatrier.

"This match was special to me, I won for the second time, if I can say that," she said afterwards. "It was a nice and really heart-warming welcome. My team was there. My family was there. Everyone who helped me through the difficult time.

Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova suffered career-threatening injuries during a burglary at her home in December 2016

"So it was a real pleasure to play in front of them and play how I played. I think I played well after six months off. I'm happy with the game, of course, but I mean, it wasn't really about the game today."

Elsewhere on day one, Great Britain's Dan Evans, making his main draw debut at the French Open, claimed the first set against Tommy Robredo before struggling with the heat and losing in four. Sixth seed Dominic Thiem, considered as a potential dark horse for the men's tournament after reaching the final in both Barcelona and Madrid in addition to a semi-final in Rome, knocked off Bernard Tomic in straight sets.

Venus Williams began her record 20th Roland Garros campaign by beating Wang Qiang of China, while Svetlana Kuznetsova toppled Christina McHale and Dominika Cibulkova easily saw off the challenge of Lara Arruabarrena. Grigor Dimitrov was victorious over Stephane Robert.

Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Garbine Muguruza are both in action tomorrow, as is heavy favourite Rafael Nadal.