Makarova upsets Kerber at Roland Garros
Ekaterina Makarova defeated Angelique Kerber, world number 1, 6-2, 6-2 in the opening round of the Frenc Open 2017.
For the first time in the Open Era, a No.1 seed fell in the first round of the women’s tournament.
Makarova opened each set with a break. She struck 26 winners in 16 games, served at 73 percent, and broke Kerber six times to improve to 5-1 against top 10 players this year.
“It’s a special day and a special moment and total different emotions,” Makarova said about her first win over a World No.1. “I actually never played my singles on Philippe Chatrier here for nine years of playing here the main draw. I was playing all the time on Lenglen when I was going farther on the draw, so today was special day for me. I really enjoyed my singles out there.”
“This is a Grand Slam, and I was a lot of years seeded. Here I’m not. Before the draw, I was waiting for the draw, and I was ready that I could play against anyone, but I didn’t think that I will play No. 1. I’m kind of different also on these tournaments. I don’t know why…doesn’t matter what’s happening, which draw I have. I don’t know. I kind of like big tournaments.”
Kerber struggled with 25 unforced errors against just 16 winners, and won less than 50 percent of points behind her first serve.
“I think she played a good match. It was a tough first round,” Kerber assessed. “I had a few chance in the first set and also in the second set, and I didn’t make it. I think that was the key for the match. I believed in the second set, as well, that I can turn around the match and I was still believing until the last point, but she played well.
Kerber sees her clay court season come to an end with a defeat in her last three matches.
“Last year, it was a completely different year. I mean, the pressure is always there,” Kerber said, summarizing her clay court campaign. “This year, I mean, the expectations are much bigger, especially in the big tournaments and the Grand Slams – and the expectations are also from me really big, of course, because I know what I can do, what I did last year. On clay, I’m really not feeling so good, especially on my movement…I cannot slide so good. I don’t know. Normally I can move very well, but on clay it’s always a little bit different and difficult for me.”
“Of course, I’m disappointed that the clay court season was not so good. At the end, maybe it’s good that it’s over for me. Right now, I think that I have to find to myself again and just trying to forgot the clay court season as soon as possible, and then reset and starting from the grass courts again.”
The World No.1 ranking can change hands after Roland Garros as Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep can take that place.
Photo by Getty Images