'What the hell': Tennis world stunned by 'crazy' French Open drama

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Angelique Kerber and Dominic Thiem, pictured here in the opening round of the French Open.
Angelique Kerber and Dominic Thiem crashed out in the opening round of the French Open. Image: Getty

Tennis fans were left stunned on Sunday as big guns Dominic Thiem and Angelique Kerber went crashing out of the French Open in the first round.

The biggest shock of the day was two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem's loss to veteran Spaniard Pablo Andujar, blowing a two-set lead to tumble out.

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The Austrian has struggled for form since winning his first grand slam title at the US Open last year, but looked to be finding a way past Andujar when he won the first two sets.

However Andujar, who beat Roger Federer in Geneva last week, fought back to win 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-4 and record his first victory over a top-five player at the age of 35.

Thiem took a six-week break in March and April to step back from the demands of the tour and bubble life, and must now reflect on his first opening-round loss at Roland Garros.

The 27-year-old, who was seeded fourth, has reached at least the quarter-finals on his previous five visits - losing to Rafael Nadal in the final in 2018 and 2019.

Thiem also lost meekly to Britain's Cameron Norrie in Lyon last week and he was baffled by his performance.

"I was not struggling at all with my motivation but the game was just not there today," he said.

"All the shots are missing power. They are not accurate enough. I'm moving not well enough, so everything in my game, there are some percentages missing. 

"I don't really know why, because since I stepped back on court it's already two months, and I was really practising well, super intense as well.

"It's just not good enough at the moment. And it's a very tough situation."

Pablo Andujar, pictured here after beating Dominic Thiem at the French Open.
Pablo Andujar reacts after beating Dominic Thiem at the French Open. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Angelique Kerber's French Open misery continues

Thiem wasn't the only big name to fall at the first hurdle on Sunday, with former World No.1 Angelique Kerber continuing her poor record at the French Open.

The German, seeded 26th, was knocked out by Ukrainian qualifier Anhelina Kalinina.

Kerber has never made it past the quarter-finals at Roland Garros despite winning the other three grand slams once each.

Playing on court 14, she bowed out with a 6-2 6-4 defeat for her third first-round loss in a row on the Paris clay.

"She started well and had nothing to lose, while it took me too long to get into the contest," Kerber said.

In her past six tries she has failed to make it past the opening round on five occasions.

Kerber is now eager to play on a surface on which she fares better.

"I will try to learn from the match now because I played good the last few weeks and I had good matches," she said.

"I did the best preparation I could do in the last few weeks on clay, but yeah, it's fine, and now I'm looking forward to Wimbledon for the grass court season, and it sounds much better for me, so I'm happy that the next grand slam is on grass."

And 16th-seed Grigor Dimitrov joined Thiem and Kerber on the scrapheap when he was forced to retire hurt while leading Marcos Giron 6-2 6-4 5-7 0-3.

Tennis fans were left stunned by the big-name casualties on the opening day.

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with AAP

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