Published: Fri, June 02, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

French Open starts with Petra Kvitova's return

French Open starts with Petra Kvitova's return

The two-time Wimbledon champion's comeback at the French Open ended in the second round Wednesday in a close match against qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who recorded her best result at a major in almost two years with a 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5) victory.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the USA plays a shot against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic during their second round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France.

To her credit, Kerber refused to go down without a fight, but her subsequent rally only delayed the inevitable as Makarova came through a lengthy final game to prevail.

- Kvitova, who beat Julia Boserup 6-3, 6-2 in her first match since being stabbed during an attack at her home in December.

An upset in name only at this point, the German has been banged up at times this year, and also expressed frustration in the press that she hasn't been moving well on clay lately. Leading 5-2 into her service, Makarova sealed the victory with a powerful forehand to deny Kerber's quest for the Suzanne Lenglen trophy. "She's a great champion, so it's a really good win for me".

Kerber finished the match with 25 unforced errors, after converting just two out of 16 break points.

Petra Kvitova was knocked out of the French Open on Wednesday as Bethanie Mattek-Sands produced an outstanding performance against the 15th seed on Court 1.

Kerber showed some signs of getting into the match, smacking a cross-court forehand passing victor, leaning forward and yelling as she got within 3-1.

"I have to say that I'm kind of surprised how I played, even [though] I lost", Kvitova said.

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An early double fault meant little as she opened a 2-0 lead by breaking in the second game.

"I think I played well after six months off".

"On clay I'm really not feeling so good, especially on my movement, because, I don't know, I can not slide so good".

Her latest defeat could open the door for Simona Halep or Karolina Pliskova to claim the world number one ranking, if they reach the latter stages in Paris.

Despite winning Wimbledon twice, Kvitova has never won a warm-up event leading into the year's third Grand Slam, having only finished runner-up to Marion Bartoli at Eastbourne in 2011.

Makarova now has the fourth-most top-10 wins amongst active players at Grand Slams with her victory over Kerber being her 10th (Serena Williams - 56, Venus Williams 36, Maria Sharapova 19). "And the expectations are also, from me, really big, of course, because I know what I can do, what I did previous year", Kerber said.

Mattek-Sands said: "I was really happy to see her back, especially after everything that had happened". Of course, this is what I love and I will try to find the solution to come back maybe stronger.

Paes-Lipsky face Baghdatis-Muller Leander Paes and American Scott Lipksy were drawn to play Marcos Baghdatis and Giles Muller in their doubles first round match.

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