French Open: Kvitova’s comeback cut short by Mattek-Sands

Petra Kvitova littered the court with errors to lose 7-6, 7-6 in the second round of French Open.

Petra Kvitova had an erratic second round match against Bethanie Mattek-Sands at Roland Garros on Wednesday.   -  Getty Images

 

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova’s comeback was cut short on Wednesday when she was dumped out of the French Open in a second round straight-sets defeat to doubles World No. 1 Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

The 15th seed, who had only returned this week after a five-month injury absence following a stabbing by a burglar last year, littered the court with errors to lose 7-6, 7-6. The 32-year-old American, doubles winner in Paris in 2015, refused to buckle when Kvitova went 4-2 ahead.

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She whipped in a series of ferocious forehand winners while also frustrating the Czech, constantly forcing her to the net to win the first set with a tiebreak. Kvitova, who had struggled with her returns despite the American getting less than half of her first serves in, pulled herself together and rallied back from 3-1 down to force another tiebreak.

The American, however, kept her cool and watched as Kvitova surrendered on match point with her ninth double fault.

Bellis ousts Kiki Bertens

American teenager CiCi Bellis reached the third round of the French Open in her tournament debut, upsetting 18th-seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-3, 7-6 (5).

The 18-year-old Bellis converted her fourth match point on an unforced error by Bertens, a semifinalist at Roland Garros a year ago.

Bellis, who is from California, is playing in her third career Grand Slam tournament. She made it to the third round of the U.S. Open in 2016, and the second round there in 2014.

She is ranked 48th.

Two weeks ago, Bertens beat Bellis in straight sets on clay in Rome.

Jabeur ends Cibulkova's run

Ons Jabeur’s dream debut at the French Open continued as the 22-year-old Tunisian beat sixth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career.

Jabeur, who is ranked 114th, won 6-4, 6-3, sealing the victory on her third match point when Cibulkova double-faulted.

She struggled to hold back the tears and ran over to her team to grab a Tunisian flag which she held over her head.

“I am very, very happy,” Jabeur said. “I won the Roland Garros juniors here, I have good memories and I hope to create more.”

Jabeur, a lucky loser from the qualifying tournament, next faces Timea Bacsinszky.

Muguruza survives scare

Reigning champion Muguruza survived another tough examination from 53rd-ranked Anett Kontaveit, who beat the Spaniard in Stuttgart last month.

Muguruza has endured a difficult 2017 and again found herself in trouble after falling a set and a break behind against the Estonian.

But the fourth seed recovered to claw out a 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-2 win and book a third-round clash with Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

“I knew it was going to be a battle out there,” said Muguruza, who beat Serena Williams in last year’s final.

“I knew that losing to her not long ago I did something different this time. I think something different in a good way. I have a different spirit here, I’m going to fight for every ball to try and win,” she added.

Venus too strong for Nara

Venus Williams shook off a slow start to ease into the third round with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Japan’s Kurumi Nara.

Williams, the 2002 runner-up who turns 37 next month, will play Belgium’s Elise Mertens in the third round.

“Do I sense (the draw) is open? I just am really focused on me and nothing’s a given, or else I’d win every match,” said Venus, who has sister Serena in Paris supporting her.

Kuznetsova overcomes Dodin challenge

Former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Oceane Dodin of France to reach the third round of the French Open.

Kuznetsova, who won at Roland Garros in 2009, beat the 20-year-old Dodin 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3 in the final singles match to finish on Wednesday.

The eighth-seeded Russian will next play Shuai Zhang of China.

 

 

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