Slovenian teenager stuns Kerber to claim first French Open win

SLOVANIAN teenager Kaja Juvan has stunned one of Roland Garros’ title contenders by defeating former world number one and Grand Slam winner, Angelique Kerber. The German star was expected to advance fairly comfortably against her 19-year-old opponent, but instead in just her second French Open match, Juvan claimed the win in a 6-3 6-3 upset.

The match lasted just over an hour, and Juvan showed no fear by toppling the 18th seed, in the same fashion that she took Serena Williams to three sets on Juvan’s Wimbledon debut. Juvan’s aggressiveness paid off, hitting 27 winners to 15, and only conceding 19 unforced errors to Kerber’s 30. She also won 68 per cent off her second serve, and 57 per cent of her points off her opponent’s serve.

“It doesn’t matter to me who the draw is, but when you play against players who have a lot of titles, you say to yourself, okay, I watched them on TV when I was little, but I have to stay focused on myself,” Juvan said post-match. “So I did what I had to do. “But in the end, we had to wait three hours to play. And so we were trying to warm up, I was trying to stay aggressive. That’s why I won her in the end, because she’s a fantastic player.”

Speaking of Williams, she overcame a tight first set tiebreaker to blow away fellow American Kristie Ahn in the second set to advance through to the next round with a 7-6 6-0 win. There she takes on a familiar face in Bulgarian wildcard, Tsvetana Pironkova who took the American to three sets at the US Open.

“She’s playing well, but I am too,” Williams said post-match about her upcoming Round of 64 match. “I’m ready to play her. “She’ll be ready to play me. “It will be a long match, she will get a lot of balls back, but so am I. “I’ll be ready.”

Second seed Karolina Pliskova breezed through to the Round of 64, defeating Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova, joined in the next round by fellow top contenders, Elina Svitolina, Garbine Muguruza, Kiki Bertens and Petra Kvitova who all won their respective matches. Meanwhile American teenager Amanda Anisimova won in a blitz over German Tamara Korpatch.

It was not as positive for Poland’s Magda Linette who went down to Canadian teenage prodigy Leylah Fernandez in three sets, while Madison Keys also lost in the opening round of the Grand Slam she holds, out to China’s Shuai Zhang. Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova also took out a seed, winning in a topsy-turvy 6-1 2-6 6-1 victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova. The final seed to lose was Czech 22nd seed, Karolina Muchova who bowed out at the hands of Christina McHale, 6-2 6-4.

In the unseeded matches, Clara Burel advanced to the second round of her home Grand Slam with a win over Arantxa Rus to face Juvan in the second round, while Alize Cornet won in an all-French battle against another wildcard in Chloe Paquet. It was not as positive for Diane Parry who lost out to Polona Hercog in straight sets, as did Elsa Jacquemot after the wildcard went down to Mexican qualifier, Renata Zarazua.

Other winners on day two were Patricia Maria Tig, Su Wei Hsieh, Katerina Siniakova, Bernarda Pera, and Italian duo, Jasmine Paolini and Sara Errani.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments