French Open 2018: Petra Kvitova Fights Back To Reach Round Two, Victoria Azarenka Bows Out
Petra Kvitova is one of the favourites to win a maiden French Open title after winning four titles this season, including on clay in Prague and Madrid.
Petra Kvitova reaches the second round at French Open
Kvitova came back from a set down to beat Veronica Cepede Royg
Victoria Azarenka suffered a 5-7, 5-7 loss to Katerina Siniakova
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova fought back from a set down to beat Paraguayan Veronica Cepede Royg and reach the French Open 2018 second round on Monday. The eighth seed struggled early on Court Philippe Chatrier, but came through 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 to set up a meeting with Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena. Meanwhile, former world number one Victoria Azarenka's return to Grand Slam tennis lasted just two sets as the Belarusian slumped to a 5-7, 5-7 loss to Katerina Siniakova in the first round at Roland Garros.
The 28-year-old Kvitova is one of the favourites to win a maiden Roland Garros title after winning four titles this season, including on clay in Prague and Madrid.
"I've won 12 matches straight on clay, but I'm still a long way from Rafa," she said in reference to Rafael Nadal's upcoming bid for an 11th men's singles crown.
Cepede Royg, who surprisingly reached the last 16 in Paris last year, claimed the first set courtesy of a single break of the Kvitova serve.
But the Czech roared back, racing through the second set in only half an hour, before holding her nerve in a tight decider as Cepede Royg dropped serve in the 11th game.
Earlier, Azarenka, who missed much of last season after being embroiled in a custody battle over her son, was broken to love in the 12th games of each set to be dumped out by world number 57 Siniakova.
The two-time Australian Open champion has now won just two matches at Roland Garros in the last five years.
Czech Siniakova moves onto a second-round match with Ukraine's Kateryna Kozlova, who stunned defending champion Jelena Ostapenko on Sunday, in a part of the draw in which the only remaining seed is number 26 Barbora Strycova.
It was Azarenka's first Grand Slam match since losing to Simona Halep in the Wimbledon fourth round last July.