Parry sends defending champion out of French Open

Barbora Krejcikova

Defending champion Barbora Krejcikova has been knocked out of the first round of the French Open after losing 1-6 6-2 6-3 to Diane Parry.

The second seed was playing her first match since February due to injury and couldn’t have asked for a better start on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Czech star Krejcikova secured an early double break to lead 4-0 in the opener, eventually coming with a 6-1 opening set victory.

Parry, 19, was broken immediately at the start of the second set as Krejcikova threatened to run away with the match after holding for 2-0.However, the French native was undaunted and promptly won the next six matches to overwhelm the 2021 champion and level things up at a set apiece.

Cheered on by the partisan crowd, Parry recovered from another early break at the start of the third, and went on the claim the set as well as the match to advance beyond the first round of a Grand Slam for just the second time.

“Firstly I’d like to thank the French crowd for helping and supporting me,” a delighted Parry beamed afterwards.

“It’s also hard to find the words to describe the match, but I’m so happy nonetheless.“It was clear that it wasn’t easy, but especially coming up against the defending champion who fights so hard and plays so well, and even in my debut match. But I tried to hit through the ball and be aggressive, and I managed to come through a difficult moment, and I’m really happy about that.

“[When I was serving for the match] I tried to stay calm and focused; just concentrating one point at a time, and then after [I’d done it] there was reason to celebrate.”

A tearful Krejcikova said afterwards that she “collapsed physically” in the second set.”I think set and 2-0, that was where I hit the wall,” said the 2021 champion.

“I just collapsed physically, and, I mean, it was tough because I didn’t play the matches. Usually the matches are different than the practices, and I tried to prepare the best way I could. But, yeah, I collapsed.

Reflecting on her decision to play the tournament after three months without any competitive action, she added: “There was option of a surgery, as well, which I denied. I didn’t want to do that one. I was just looking for a different option. I was actually lucky that I found a different option, and with the doctors, they were very nice and they tried to help me the best way they could.

“Then we finally found out how to treat it, I thought maybe I will not make it to Roland Garros. So I’m still very happy to be here.”