PARIS, May 24, 2016
Reigning Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber was knocked out in the opening round in Paris, losing 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to Kiki Bertens.
The 24-year-old Belgian arrived in the capital of France, having made a clean sweep of titles in Nuremberg, claiming the singles as well as the doubles title last week. Bertens won 74% of her first service points and converted four of her eight break point chances to seal victory in one hour and 41 minutes.
“She played well in the first set”, Kerber had to admit. “In the second set I found my rhythm again. I played my tennis. But in the third set, she starts very well. She won the last point. But of course, I’m disappointed that I lost now here the first round, but that’s sport and that always can happen. That was for sure not my best tennis I played today.”
She didn’t feel any pressure coming to her first major as a Grand Slam champion.
“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. I was trying it. It was not my day. I tried to fight also in the third set. But she played well in the important moments.”
Kerber withdrew from last week’s tournament in Nuremberg and received a medical time-out at 0-3 in the final set getting taped on her left shoulder.
“The pain is the same, but I don’t know if it’s better or good. I mean, I just left the court. I hope it’s not so bad, but I started feeling it in the second set. It was getting worser and worser, but I hope it’s not too bad.”