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Reigning French Open champion Barbora Krejčíková was dealt a shock first round loss at the tournament on Monday.
The Czech star opened with a strong first set against France’s Diane Parry, but the 19-year-old produced a stunning comeback to win 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Krejčíková got her year off to a strong start after reaching the final of the Sydney International and the quarters at the Australian Open, but her form has dipped significantly since January.
Following her early defeat at Roland Garros, the 26-year-old is set to face a significant drop in the world rankings.
She is currently ranked second in the world but will fall to at least 12th after failing to reach beyond the first round. Krejčíková will fall outside the top ten for the first time since August 2021.
As the reigning champion, this will be a huge blow for Krejčíková, but she also holds the current French Open title in doubles along with compatriot Kateřina Siniaková.
The Czech duo will be hoping to defend their crown this year and are set to face Anna Kalinskaya and Dalma Gálfi on Wednesday in the first round.
DOHA, QATAR – FEBRUARY 22: Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech in action against Magda Linette of Poland during the Qatar TotalEnergies Open – day three at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex on February 22, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images)
A controversial opener
Krejčíková’s opening match was tainted by some controversy, and not the fact that she was eliminated by world number 92 Parry.
Eurosport pundit Mark Petchey criticised the “nightmare” rule that only allows spectators in after the first three games of a set.
Fans delayed proceedings during the start of the fourth game as it took them some time to find their seats, and it irked the former player.
“Well, of course, this is always the three-game nightmare that tennis has,” Petchey said during commentary of Krejčíková and Parry’s match.
“This has obviously just compounded it because there is an issue about the tickets and who is sitting in whose seat — even though there are plenty enough seats to go and sit in. But I say it every time: when are the seven governing bodies going to change the rule back that you can come in at 1-0 as a fan?
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“You have paid huge money to come to this tournament today, it is raining outside, why are the fans kept outside for three games? It is an absolutely ludicrous decision. It has absolutely no benefit to the sport at all — in fact, it is slowing the sport down. Every single time, virtually….