Three-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 Angelique Kerber already is gone from the French Open with a third consecutive first-round loss.
The 26th-seeded Kerber was beaten 6-2, 6-4 to Anhelina Kalinina, a qualifier from Ukraine ranked 139th making her tournament debut.
Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam title that Kerber hasn’t won, and she’s frequently struggled on its red clay.
Her defeat on Court 14 on the opening Sunday was the eighth time in 14 appearances in Paris that she has exited in the first round.
Kerber’s best results in Paris were reaching the quarterfinals in 2012 and 2018.
She won the Australian Open and U.S. Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2018.
Back in its usual May-June slot, the French Open is getting underway with Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka opening play on the Court Philippe Chatrier.
Just seven months after he won his 13th title at Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal is again the favorite to take a 14th French Open crown that would give him 21 major titles, one more than Roger Federer.
Last year’s tournament was held exceptionally in autumn in Paris because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Neither Nadal nor the 2020 women’s champion, Iga Swiatek, are playing on the opening Sunday.
Four-time major winner Osaka leads the women’s action, against Romanian Patricia Tig.
Two-time Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem follows them on Chatrier, against Pablo Andujar of Spain.