Sloane Stephens cruises, but Venus Williams falls at French Open

Hope Soto
May 31, 2018

The result made Ostapenko only the second reigning women's champion to exit in the first round of the French Open a year later - it happened to 2005 victor Anastasia Myskina, too - and only the sixth at any major tournament in the professional era.

The only top-16-seeded man or woman who lost was No. 12 Sam Querrey of the US, and he's only once been as far as the third round in 12 appearances at Roland Garros.

"Having consulted with my team and medical experts it is deemed too risky for me to step out and potentially play five sets on clay especially as I have not played a singles match in almost two months". Made like 50 unforced errors and so many double-faults. Like couldn't serve today.

"And didn't really matter who was on the other side", Ostapenko added, "because she was just waiting for me to miss".

That opponent would be Ukraine's Kateryna Kozlova, who knocked off the 20-year-old for the third time in three career meetings, 7-5, 6-3.

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 defences.

Ostapenko, the defending champion at Roland Garros, lost in straight sets.

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Venus Williams was also sent spinning out on the opening Sunday.

Afterward, Venus said she wasn't surprised at her second first round elimination in a Grand Slam in 2018.

The 23-year-old, who won her second consecutive Italian Open title last weekend, will next play either 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone or Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova. After the two players shared the next four games for a 5-5 tie, Wang broke Williams' service to recorded a stunning victory over the American.

She contributed 13 double faults amid 48 unforced errors to tumble out 7-5 6-3 to the world number 66. "I think her game just got better and better during the match". But Kozlova took over fast, winning the set 3-2.

Women's 4th seed Elina Svitolina, a quarter-finalist in Paris in 2015 and 2017, overcame a first set 1-5 deficit to see off Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-3. "I try to do everything what's in my power to play my best game on the Grand Slams", she said. "But nevertheless, I'm happy to be back playing here".

Other leading men were forced to work a lot harder in matches they would have been expected to breeze through: No. 2-seeded Alexander Zverev, No. 4 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 19 Kei Nishikori all faced two-sets-to-one deficits and all emerged to win Wednesday.

8th seed David Goffin took the 2nd round with a score of 3-2, though the world struggled against 44th Robin Haase.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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