Tennis: Bertens stuns Kerber at French Open

Angelique Kerber (above) returns the ball to Kiki Bertens at the French Open.
Angelique Kerber (above) returns the ball to Kiki Bertens at the French Open.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Australian Open tennis champion Angelique Kerber crashed out in the first round of the French Open on Tuesday, as the German third seed lost 2-6, 6-3, 3-6 to Kiki Bertens, the world No. 58.

Bertens, who won her second career title at Nuremberg on Saturday, broke Kerber twice to claim the opening set on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Kerber responded in the second set to force a decider, but the Dutchwoman completed a shock victory to set up a second-round tie against Italy's Camila Giorgi or French wild card Alize Lim.

Kerber's preparations for Roland Garros were far from ideal, with the 28-year-old failing to win a match at Madrid or Rome before withdrawing from last week's Nuremberg event with a shoulder injury.

The German struggled and committed 28 unforced errors compared to just nine winners, taking a medical time-out when trailing 0-3 in the final set to undergo treatment on her ailing shoulder.

On her run to the title in Melbourne, Kerber had saved a match point in her opening match against Japan's Misaki Doi, but there was no great escape this time.