Angelique Kerber eliminated against Sasnowitsch

Ehe Court Simonne-Mathieu is one of the most beautiful courts on the Roland Garros tennis court. It was inaugurated in 2019 in the south of the long area where a large greenhouse had previously stood. All around there is a lot of greenery, inside up to 5000 spectators make a big splash in a small space. Anyone who plays in this glass hothouse of emotions either grows beyond themselves – or dies. Angelique Kerber belonged to the latter category in the third round on Friday.

As much as the Kiel native struggled against the impending defeat against Alexandra Sasnowitsch – in the end the seventeenth in the world rankings had to admit defeat 4:6 and 6:7 (5:7) to the force of the Belarusian who was thirty places lower. For Kerber, the tender little hope of winning the fourth major tournament after the US Open, the Australian Open and Wimbledon on the unloved ash pitches in Paris and thus completing the so-called career slam disappeared.

Especially in the first set, the 34-year-old German hardly had an opportunity for her dreaded counterattack, with which she had won three Grand Slam titles. The balls that came across from the almost merciless Belarusian were so fast that Kerber could often only watch them. Sasnowitsch determined the game because she had a plan: to push Kerber into a corner with powerful shots for as long as possible until the opposite corner was open for a winning shot or a stop ball.

The fact that the Belarusian ran the risk of making more mistakes was part of the calculated risk. On the other hand, the “Angie chants” of the audience helped little. After the lost first round, Kerber withdrew briefly into the catacombs.

She may be trying to recall that her wins in the previous two meetings with the 28-year-old Belarusian came in three sets; last year at Wimbledon, where she reached the semi-finals, she also lost the first round against Sasnowitsch. But although the second-oldest player in the remaining field was described by her colleague Andrea Petkovic, who had previously been eliminated, as fit “like a young hopping deer”, she didn’t have anything decisive to oppose Sasnowitsch.

It also ended the seven-victory streak that had taken her to the title in Strasbourg and the third round in Paris. Her “love of tennis”, which Kerber spoke of in Paris, will soon blossom again on her beloved lawn.



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