Büyükakçay to take on Rogers at French Open

Büyükakçay to take on Rogers at French Open

Büyükakçay to take on Rogers at French Open

AFP photo

Turkish player Çağla Büyükakçay will take on Shelby Rogers at the French Open on May 31 after beating Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in straight sets on May 28. 

The world’s 155th-ranked player won 6-3, 6-3 against her 35-year-old rival, who is a full 133 spots ahead of her in the world rankings.

“I’ll face another tough rival,” Büyükakçay told Anadolu Agency after the win. 

“She played a quarterfinal here last year. She got a milestone in her career here [by advancing to last year’s quarterfinals]. She has good memories,” she said. 

Commenting on her win over Lucic-Baroni, Büyükakçay said, “Yesterday is over.”

The 27-year-old also said she liked the clay court. “It suits my game.”

Rogers began her bid for this year’s title by defeating Marina Erakovic in straight sets, 7-6 (4), 6-4. The American was broken just once and had an 81 percent first-serve percentage.

Büyükakçay joined İpek Soylu last year as one of the first two Turkish women to appear in a Grand Slam. 

Angelique Kerber, meanwhile, became the first top seed to lose in the opening round at Roland Garros, while a tearful Petra Kvitova also swept to victory in her first match since surviving a knife attack which almost ended her career.

German world number one Kerber, the reigning U.S. Open champion, dropped serve six times on her way to a 6-2, 6-2 defeat to Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.

“The pressure is always there especially in the big tournaments and the Grand Slams,” said Kerber, who won her first major at the Australian Open in 2016. “Now I have to find to myself again and just try to forget the clay court season as soon as possible and then reset for the grass courts.” 

It was the second successive first round exit at French Open for Kerber and continued a miserable spell for the 29-year-old on clay.

Kerber’s defeat makes the women’s draw even more open with Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka all not playing.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova downed outclassed Julia Boserup of the United States 6-3, 6-2, falling to her knees in celebration in the moment of victory before weeping at the net.

“I’m really glad to have made the decision to play here,” said 27-year-old Kvitova, who was seriously hurt when she fought off a knife-wielding burglar at her home in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov in December 2016.

“I won the match today but I knew I had already won,” she added, referring to the initial nightmare scenario where she feared she would lose the fingers on her left playing hand.

Kvitova, the 15th seed and a semi-finalist in 2012, fired nine aces and 31 winners past Boserup, who made her Paris debut at the age of 25.