Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber has been knocked out of the French Open in a first-round upset by No. 58 Kiki Bertens.
Bertens overtook No. 3 Kerber 6–2, 3–6, 6–3.
The upset makes Kerber the fifth Australian Open champion to be defeated in the first round at Roland Garros in the Open Era.
Despite entering the match as a Grand Slam champion for the first time, Kerber said she did not feel additional pressure as a result of her title.
“I came here to play round by round, and I know that you must play your best tennis in the first rounds, as well, because everybody is a tough opponent to play,” Kerber said after the match. “I was trying it. It was not my day. I tried to fight also in the third set. But, yeah, she played good then in the important moments.”
The German player withdrew from Nuremburg last week with a shoulder injury, and said the injury began to bother her again during her second set against Bertens.
Bertens will move on to play the winner between Alizé Lim and Camila Giorgi in the second round.
- Erin Flynn