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Published: 12:49 | 27/5/19

Wozniacki out, Nadal eases through


Caroline Wozniacki's hopes of adding the French Open to the Australian Open title she won in January ended on Monday when she was beaten in the first round at Roland Garros by Russian Veronika Kudermetova.

Things appeared to be going well for Wozniacki as she won the opening set to love on Philippe Chatrier court, but she soon crumbled.

Despite winning the opening game of the second set, Wozniacki was broken three times as the world number 68 levelled the match before taking the first three games of the decider. Wozniacki tried to fight back but the damage had been done and she fell to a 0-6 6-3 6-3 loss.

"It's definitely frustrating. It hasn't been a great year for me so far, so I'm going to work hard and try and turn it around," Wozniacki said.

"I think she got very lucky at the start of the second set and took advantage of the opportunities she got.

"I ran out of steam in the end and made some unforced errors that I don't usually do.

"She had a few net cords and good shots on some of the important points at the start of the second set."

Serena Williams, meanwhile, survived a scare as she came from behind to beat Russian Vitalia Diatchenko.

Williams has been struggling with injury in the lead up to Roland Garros and she looked in need of some game time in the early exchanges with the world number 83.

The 10th seed made 14 unforced errors on her way to losing the opening set 6-2 but she found her game in the second set, winning 12 of the final 13 games to complete a 2-6 6-1 6-0 victory.

"There is always a lot of fear for a first-round match," Williams said. "I made lots of mistakes in the first set and I just said 'good luck, Serena'.

"I was strong after that. Now I feel like I need to go and practise."

Earlier, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was forced to withdraw from the tournament with an arm injury.

The sixth see had been due to play Sorana Cirstea in the first round on Monday but she withdrew from the event after undergoing an MRI on her arm.

"I've had pain in my left forearm for a few weeks and last night an MRI confirmed a grade-two tear," she said.

"I'm truly sad not to be able to play here this year. It is a really tough decision to make."

Defending champion Rafael Nadal got his quest for a 12th French Open title off to the perfect start with a 6-2 6-1 6-3 over German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann.

The second seed arrived at Roland Garros on the back of victory at the Italian Open, but he began slowly against the world number 180 and had to save four break points in the opening.

Once he held serve, the Spaniard found his rhythm and began to dominate his opponent to claim the opening set before moving three clear in the second.

Hanfmann tried to find a way back into the match but Nadal was too strong for him and he lost a number of service games to book his place in the second round where he will face German qualifier Yannick Maden.

“It’s always amazing to play here, the new Chatrier is very nice. It’s been an important place in my career," Nadal said.

“I played a good tournament in Rome which was very important for my confidence. Now we’ll see.”

There was little trouble for Novak Djokovic, with the world number one easing to a 6-4 6-2 6-2 win over Poland's Hubert Hurkacz.

Bidding to hold all four Grand Slam titles for the second time in his career, Djokovic looked in good form against his opponent, breaking three times in the second and third set to run out a comfortable winner.

"I put myself in a situation where I can actually make tennis history again and obviously I have very high ambitions for this tournament," he said.

"It's not the first time that I'm facing these kinds of circumstances. It's not the first Grand Slam in my career. I have played so many.

"I know it's two weeks, potentially, long and I just need to be in my lockdown mentally, and just do things that have worked for me in the past."

Former champion Stan Wawrinka is also through after a 6-1 6-7 6-2 6-3 win over Slovakia's Josef Kovalik , while Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem defeated American wildcard Tommy Paul 6-4 4-6 7-6 6-2.

However, 12th seed Daniil Medvedev, 15th seed Nikoloz Basilashviliand 20th seed Denis Shapovalov all exited the tournament on the second day.

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