Tue, 28 Jun 2022

Ex-No. 1 Angelique Kerber fights off challenge to win at French

Field Level Media
25 May 2022, 04:25 GMT+10

Former World No. 1 Angelique Kerber's quest to win a career Grand Slam stayed alive with a dramatic three-set victory over Magdalena Frech of Poland at the French Open on Tuesday.

Kerber, the No. 21 seed, came from a set down and fought off two match points to prevail 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours, 28 minutes and advance to the second round in Paris.

It was her first match win at Roland Garros since she reached the quarterfinals in 2018 -- the farthest she's advanced toward the one major title that has eluded her.

Kerber, of Germany, is on a tear of late. She won her 14th career singles title in Strasbourg on Saturday, and she said she needed to give her all in Paris.

"I think there is no secret," Kerber said. "I just put everything I had today on court. I left my heart on court."

And her confidence level is rising.

"I was just trying to believe in myself, taking the confidence that I got from Strasbourg," Kerber said. "I know that I can turn around matches with match point down, and I was just trying to play point by point and run for every ball."

Kerber's opponent in the second round will be French wildcard Elsa Jacquemot, who beat Heather Watson of Great Britain 6-3, 6-3.

Four of the top 10 seeds in the women's draw had made first-round exits, but the tide turned on Tuesday.

No. 3 Paula Badosa of Spain eliminated Fiona Ferro of France in quick fashion 6-2, 6-0. No. 8 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic needed three sets and just over two hours to defeat French wildcard Tessah Andrianjafitrimo 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.

No. 9 seed Danielle Collins had a much easier time, defeating Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria in straight sets. Next up for Collins is fellow American Shelby Rogers, who defeated Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-3.

Two other seeded Americans, No. 11 Jessica Pegula and No. 22 Madison Keys, also advanced to the second round.

Other winners included No. 13 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, the 2017 French Open champion, and No. 24 Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia, a 2021 semifinalist in Paris.

--Field Level Media

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