Venus Williams and defending champions, Jelena Ostapenko were beaten on Day 1 of the 2018 French Open.
Ostapenko’s reign ended in the first round from an unexpected defeat by Kateryna Kozlova 7-5 6-3. But this was not a fluke as Kozlova had beaten Ostapenko in their two previous meetings, even though she came into the French Open ranked No.66 in the world.
Ostapenko thus joins Anastasia Myskina as the other defending French Open champion to be dumped out in the first round. Myskina fell at the first hurdle of her title defence in 2005.
Ostapenko, afterward admitted she was not at the races. “I think it was a terrible day at the office today for me. I mean, in general, I played maybe like 20 per cent of what I can play. Made like 50 unforced errors and so many double faults. Like, couldn’t serve today. Everything together just brought me a really bad result.”
Another casualty on the first day was eight-time Grand Slam champion, Venus Williams, who fell to No.91-ranked Qiang Wang, who exacted revenge on the older Williams for her 2017 defeat.
It was however supposed to be a celebration for the 37-year-old, who in her 21st appearance at Roland Garros, was playing her 100th match but the Chinese underdog had other ideas. Wang beat Williams 6-4 7-5, coincidentally in 100 minutes.
Afterward, Venus said she wasn’t surprised at her second first round elimination in a Grand Slam in 2018. “It didn’t surprise me that she played well – everybody plays me well. Nobody plans on this [successive first round Slam defeats]. There are no perfect days in tennis. What could I have done differently? I think…win the point.”
Meanwhile, in the men’s draw, David Goffin came from two sets down to beat Robin Haase 1-6 3-6 6-4 6-1 6-0.