Potapova stuns Kerber for first shock of Roland Garros
Angelique Kerber became the first seed to fall as she lost on the first day of Roland Garros against Russian teenager Anastasia Potapova 6-4, 6-3.
The 18-year-old is extremely highly regarded and is tipped to become one of the next big things in women’s tennis.
Predictions of a potential upset proved to be accurate as she upset fifth seed Kerber, who has been struggling with injuries of late and has often struggled on clay.
Angelique Kerber of Germany leaves the court following defeat in her ladies singles first round match against Anastasia Potapova of Russia during Day one of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros on May 26, 2019 in Paris, France.Getty Images
The German couldn’t find any fluency and she was punished by her younger opponent, Potapova racing into a 4-2 lead in the opening set before the Wimbledon champion pegged her back. However, the teenager rallied to claim the first 6-4.
The Russian then broke twice more to take control of the second set and then broke a third time to secure victory, her second ever at a Grand Slam. Kerber, meanwhile, will have to reflect on a third first-round exit at Roland Garros in four years.
“My phone is exploding now,” Potapova said following her Roland Garros main draw debut. “I really appreciate it. It's nice to hear congratulations from great people.
“I was trying to keep some focus on me, on myself, how I'm playing, how I'm running. I wasn’t trying to think a lot about the court, about the first round, about Kerber, because of course she's a great player. But, you know, I'm here to play my best. That's what I did."