French Open: Top seed Angelique Kerber beaten

Angelique Kerber suffered the indignity of becoming the first ever top-seeded woman to be defeated in the opening round of the French Open as she suffered a surprise straight sets loss to Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.

Makarova won out 6-2 6-2 in just one hour and 22 minutes Sunday, racking up six breaks of serve in the process.

Kerber lost in the first round at Roland Garros last year when she was seeded third behind Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska.

The World No. 1 and reigning U.S. Open champion has struggled this year and on clay, retiring at the recent Madrid Open because of injury and then exiting the Italian Open in Rome after another first round loss.

“Right now I think that I have to find myself again and just try to (forget) the clay court season as soon as possible and then reset and (start) from the grass courts again,” Kerber told reporters, referring to the grass-court swing that starts in two weeks.

Makarova is currently ranked 40th in the world, but she has been as high as No. 8 in the past and she reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open in 2014 and the Australian Open in 2015.

“It’s unbelievable to win and to do it on my first appearance on (the showcase) Philippe Chatrier court as a singles player after nine years of coming to Paris,” Makarova said in quotes carried by the AFP news agency.

“At the end of the match, it was really tough as I knew she wouldn’t give it to me — I had to win it.”

Makarova will face either Lesia Tsurenko or Kateryna Kozlova in the second round.

Elsewhere Sunday, Petra Kvitova made a winning return to competitive tennis as she defeated Julia Boserup 6-3, 6-2.

Kvitova was playing for the first time since she was stabbed during an attempted burglary at her home in the Czech Republic in December.