Angelique Kerber crashed out of the French Open (Picture: Corbis via Getty Images)Angelique Kerber was the first major casualty of the 2019 French Open, crashing out to world No. 81 Anastasia Potapova.
The German has only managed to play five matches in a clay-court season where she struggled with an ankle injury and bowed out in the first match on the new Philippe-Chatrier court.
Given her injury struggles, the former world No. 1 admitted she had low expectations heading into the event and they were somewhat well placed as she tumbled out in a 6-4 6-2 defeat.
The reigning Wimbledon champion said: ‘I mean, the year was with up-and-downs and right now I lost here the first round, so what should I say?
‘I mean, of course I’m disappointed, but I tried everything the last two weeks to be here to playing a match, and, I mean, I was happy about the process the last days, but at the end, I didn’t have really matches before I couldn’t practising very good. So, yeah, at the end I really don’t have too much expectation for this tournament.
‘Yeah, I think the feeling what I have before the tournament, it was right.’
Anastasia Potapova collapsed to her knees in delight after her victory (Picture: Corbis via Getty)
Kerber will now turn her attention towards defending her Wimbledon crown in July.
‘I mean, of course the goal was to coming here to playing this tournament, and of course it was, like every day the last two weeks, was really hard,’ the fifth seed added.
‘Yeah, of course, I thought that I can play a little bit better, but at the end I didn’t have really too much matches on clay.
‘It is always a tough challenge with all the setups and to coming back, but, you know, the year’s, we have still few more months to go, and the clay season is over now for me. Yeah, I’m happy about that, that I can now looking forward to playing on grass.’
The French Open begins today! Roger Federer headlines the action in his first appearance at Roland Garros in four years but the pick of the matches is Elina Svitolina vs Venus Williams on what is already one of the finest courts in tennis: Simonne-Mathieu! pic.twitter.com/ZMjtybX4HX
— George Bellshaw (@BellshawGeorge) May 26, 2019
It was a mighty fine moment for 18-year-old Potapova to beat the 31-year-old German and she confessed she would be replaying the moment in her head for a long time to come.
‘For sure, I was just speechless,’ she smiled.
‘I didn’t know what to say and what to do, but, yes, I was so happy at the moment, and I’m still so happy.
‘I was live for this win, for these emotions, for these moments. I’m going to do everything to live it through again and again and again.’More: Tennis