Diane upsets defending champion Krejcikova in French Open first round

Krejcikova, who had defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the 2021 final to win her maiden Grand Slam title, arrived at Roland Garros without any competitive matches under her belt since February due to an elbow injury. But, she breezed through the opening set against the 97th-ranked Parry, who was facing a top-10 opponent for the first time in her career.
Diane upsets defending champion Krejcikova in French Open first round
Diane Parry plays a backhand return to Barbora Krejcikova

PARIS: Barbora Krejcikova’s French Open title defence ended in the opening round on Monday as local hope Diane Parry roared to a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory against the second-seeded Czech.

Krejcikova, who had defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the 2021 final to win her maiden Grand Slam title, arrived at Roland Garros without any competitive matches under her belt since February due to an elbow injury. But, she breezed through the opening set against the 97th-ranked Parry, who was facing a top-10 opponent for the first time in her career.

However, the 19-year-old Parry turned the match on its head by winning the second set as errors and double faults began to creep into Krejcikova’s game.

The 26-year-old Czech got an early break in the deciding set but Parry, urged on by the crowd, levelled things at 2-2 and then got the decisive break in the eighth game. Krejcikova found the net on match point for her 45th unforced error as Parry completed a remarkable victory.

Meanwhile, World No.1 Iga Swiatek (Poland) put on a commanding display against Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko with a 6-2, 6-0 opening victory, which kick-started her bid for a second French Open title and extended her winning run to 29 matches.

In the men’s draw, Rafael Nadal showed no signs of pain as the 13-time French Open champion marched into the second round with clinical 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Australian Jordan Thompson. The Spaniard, who had never arrived in Paris as unprepared as this year, was never bothered on a chilly court Philippe Chatrier.

Nadal broke for 2-1 with a backhand volley winner and his massive forehand helped him move 4-1 up against an overwhelmed opponent. The fifth seed looked to finish off some points quickly and made several unforced errors, but they were of little consequence as he breezed through the opening set.

Nadal broke serve in the first game of the second set and later in the fifth as well as seventh since he started to play more neatly. He bagged it with a service winner. Thompson, who pulled a break back in the third set, looked completely worn out but managed to hold it together until 2-2, when Nadal broke with a forehand volley and won the rest of the games.

RESULTS (SELECTED): Men’s singles: First round: J Thompson lost to R Nadal 2-6, 2-6, 2-6; C Norrie bt M Guinard 7-5, 6-2, 6-0; S Rodriguez Taverna lost to T Fritz 6-7(2), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6; J Londero lost to C Alcaraz Garfia 4-6, 2-6, 0-6; A Zverev bt S Ofner 6-2, 6-4, 6-4

Women’s singles: First round: I Swiatek bt L Tsurenko 6-2, 6-0; D Parry bt B Krejcikova 1-6, 6-2, 6-3; C Burel lost to M Sakkari 2-6, 3-6

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