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French Open 2017: Angelique Kerber hoping to avoid early exit at Roland Garros despite top seed status

Paris: Angelique Kerber could face an embarrassing first-round exit at the French Open if the World No 1 takes her poor clay court form into her first round match against Russian Ekaterina Makarova on Sunday.

The German failed to win a match in her last tournament — falling to unheralded Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit in the second round in Rome after being granted a first-round bye.

File image of Angelique Kerber

File image of Angelique Kerber

Makarova is likely to provide Kerber with a tough challenge on a searing hot day on Court Philippe Chatrier as she arrived at Roland Garros high on confidence, having beaten Agnieszka Radwanska and Dominika Cibulkova on the slow surface this year.

Petra Kvitova makes a much awaited return after being forced out of action because of injuries sustained to her left playing hand when she was stabbed during a burglary last December.

None of the top five seeds in the men's draw are in action but the only man to beat claycourt machine Rafa Nadal on his favourite surface this season, Austrian Dominic Thiem, starts his campaign against Bernard Tomic on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

The home crowd will be treated with an all-French duel between Lucas Pouille, the 16th seed, and Julien Benneteau, a former quarter-finalist.

Published Date: May 28, 2017 14:03 PM | Updated Date: May 28, 2017 14:03 PM

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