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French Open defending champ Garbine Muguruza survives scare, Petra Kvitova out

Defending French Open champion Garbine Muguruza recovered from a set down to defeat Anett Kontaveit 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-2 and book a third-round clash with Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

tennis Updated: May 31, 2017 20:53 IST
French Open,Garbine Muguruza,Petra Kvitova
Garbine Muguruza celebrates after winning a point against Anett Kontaveit at French Open.(AFP)

Reigning champion Garbine Muguruza survived a tough French Open second-round challenge from Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday.

Muguruza’s patchy form this season included a loss to the world number 53 in Stuttgart, with the Spaniard again in dire trouble in Paris after falling a set and a break behind against the Estonian.

But the fourth seed recovered to claw out a 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-2 win and book a third-round clash with Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

“I have a different spirit here, I’m going to fight for every ball to try and win,” said Muguruza, who defeated Serena Williams in last year’s final.

Read | Venus Williams all smiles at Miami Open, Garbine Muguruza retires hurt

“She was playing so good first two sets, I was just hanging there waiting for my moment and in the third set it came.”

Kvitova’s run ends

American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands halted Petra Kvitova’s comeback, defeating the popular Czech 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5) in her first tournament since a horrifying knife attack in December.

Petra Kvitova returns the ball to Bethanie Mattek-Sands. ( AFP )

’m disappointed, for sure. I came here to win the matches,” said twice former Wimbledon champion Kvitova.

“But I really fight. I mean, after the match, I didn’t feel that bad as normally I probably do.

“I’m still happy I’m here and playing. The fairytale ended. Now, in upcoming weeks, I think it will be business as usual.”

Venus advances

Venus Williams shook off a slow start to ease into the third round with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Japan’s Kurumi Nara.

Williams, the 2002 runner-up who turns 37 next month, will play Belgium’s Elise Mertens or Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp in the third round.

“Do I sense (the draw) is open? I just am really focused on me and nothing’s a given, or else I’d win every match,” said Venus, who has sister Serena in Paris supporting her.

First Published: May 31, 2017 20:42 IST