Australian Open champion Kerber falls in Paris first round

Tue May 24, 2016 8:47am EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

PARIS (Reuters) - Angelique Kerber discovered that being the newest member of the grand slam winner's club did not earn her any free points as the Australian Open champion succumbed to a 6-2 3-6 6-3 first-round defeat by Kiki Bertens at the French Open on Tuesday.

The German third seed's first grand slam match since triumphing at Melbourne Park in January ended in pain and despair as a shoulder injury prevented her from making much impact against hard-hitting Dutchwoman Bertens.

Kerber stepped on court wearing a striking black and white outfit but over the course of the next hour and 41 minutes, her mood had turned as grey as the dark clouds hovering over Roland Garros.

"I'm disappointed that I lost the first round here...that was for sure not my best tennis I played today," the dejected 28-year-old, who took a medical time out in the third set, told reporters.

"I tried to fight but she played good then in the important


The result completed a hat-trick of losses for Kerber, who suffered back-to-back defeats in her opening matches in Madrid and Rome.

The clay court season which had started so promisingly for the 28-year-old when she captured the title in Stuttgart, ended with a whimper on a cold, overcast day in front of rows of empty seats on Philippe Chatrier Court.   Continued...

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros - Angelique Kerber of Germany vs Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands - Paris, France - 24/05/16. Angelique Kerber serves the ball. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier