Djokovic, Nadal through, Kerber Out


Top seed Novak Djokovic and nine-time champion Rafael Nadal eased through to the French Open second round with comprehensive victories.
Djokovic, a defeated finalist in three of the last four years, beat Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu 6-4 6-1 6-1.
Nadal, the 29-year-old Spanish fourth seed, took only one hour and 20 minutes to overcome Sam Groth 6-1 6-1 6-1.

Earlier, Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber was beaten by world number 58 Kiki Bertens.
Nadal, who hit an astonishing winner through his legs in the third set, will face Argentine world number 99 Facundo Bagnis in the second round after taking his career French Open record to 71 wins and two losses.

Djokovic will face Belgian Steve Darcis next, ahead of a potential third-round encounter with British number two Aljaz Bedene in the third round.
Seventh seed Tomas Berdych brushed aside Vasek Pospisil in straight sets in the opening match on court one.

Third seed Kerber, who has yet to advance past the quarter-finals at Roland Garros, lost 6-2 3-6 6-3.
The German, 28, lost her opening matches at the Madrid and Rome tournaments and a shoulder injury ruled her out of Nuremberg last week.

Bertens, from the Netherlands, won the title in Nuremberg.
“First rounds are always tough in the tournament, especially for me. What can I say? It happens,” said Kerber, who stunned Serena Williams in Melbourne to win her maiden Grand Slam title earlier this year.

Also yesterday, Britain’s Johanna Konta and Laura Robson went out of the French Open first round without winning a set.
Konta, the British number one and 20th seed, was outclassed 6-2 6-3 in 64 minutes by Germany’s Julia Goerges.

Robson, who has been beset by injuries over the past two years and fallen to 329 in the world rankings, lost 6-2 6-2 to German 28th seed Andrea Petkovic.

Their defeats mean Heather Watson is the only British woman through to the second round in Paris.
Konta’s rapid rise up the rankings came on the back of upsets at the US Open, where she reached the fourth round, and Australian Open, where she made the semi-finals.

She went into the year’s second Grand Slam with hopes of another lengthy run but world number 57 Goerges played an exceptional match.
The German, who was once ranked in the top 15, crunched 30 winners in the match compared to just four from Konta.
“I try to always do a really good job of leaving my work on the court. No one died. I’m healthy,” said Konta.

“I’m not going to beat myself up too much. I think it’s always important to be kind to yourself.”
Robson used her protected ranking of 58 to play in Paris but that runs out next month, meaning she will need a wildcard to get into Wimbledon.

Her ability to hit winners remains but too often the 22-year-old relied solely on her power and a tally of 37 unforced errors in 16 games against Petkovic told its own story.
Robson, playing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2013, will now hope for some morale-boosting wins on grass to help her move up the rankings.