Russian teen Potapova knocks out Wimbledon champion Kerber in Paris
German star came into French Open undercooked after ankle injury
Germany’s Angelique Kerber looks on after losing her first-round match against Russia’s Anastasia Potapova at the French Open at Roland Garros. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Russia’s Anastasia Potapova celebrates victory over Germany’s Angelique Kerber at the French Open. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
The fifth seed had been a doubt for the tournament with an ankle injury suffered at the start of May and she looked short of matches in a 6-4 6-2 defeat.
Kerber has never been particularly at home on clay but, having added Wimbledon to her 2016 Australian Open and US Open titles, she now only needs the Roland Garros trophy for a career Grand Slam.
A disappointed Kerber said: “She really played good. I tried my best. I was able to practise the last few days really good, but it was not really a long clay-court preparation with everything.
“I was happy to at least go on court, playing a match. Of course it’s not like I hoped for.”
WOMEN’S FIRST-ROUND RESULTS
Anastasia Potapova (Rus) bt (5) Angelique Kerber (Ger) 6-4 6-2, (31) Petra Martic (Cro) bt Ons Jabeur (Tun) 6-1 6-2, Johanna Larsson (Swe) bt Magdalena Rybarikova (Svk) 6-3 6-4, (19) Garbine Muguruza (Esp) bt Taylor Townsend (USA) 5-7 6-2 6-2, Oscar Otte (Ger) bt Malek Jaziri (Tun) 6-3 6-1 4-6 6-0, Kristina Kucova (Svk) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus) 6-4 6-2.