Venus stunned by Wang

PARIS • Former finalist Venus Williams crashed out in the opening round of the French Open, losing 6-4, 7-5 to China's 91st-ranked Wang Qiang on Court Suzanne-Lenglen in the first upset of the year's second tennis Grand Slam tournament.

But Japan's Kei Nishikori saw off the challenge of French youngster Maxime Janvier to book his spot in the second round at Roland Garros.

The 19th seed had to work hard to get past the plucky 21-year-old wild card, but was always the stronger player in a 7-6 (7-0), 6-4, 6-3 win.

The world No. 21, who reached the French Open quarter-finals in 2015 and 2017, will next take on either home hopeful Benoit Paire or Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena.

Elsewhere, Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov did not let a last-minute switch in opponent throw him off his stride, as he subdued Egyptian lucky loser Mohamed Safwat 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1).

There was less positive news for Australian Nick Kyrgios, after he withdrew with an elbow injury.

"Sorry guys, I tried everything I could to be ready... but I came up short," the world No. 23 tweeted.

In the women's draw, fourth seed Elina Svitolina and US Open champion Sloane Stephens both eased through. Svitolina beat Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-3, while American Stephens defeated Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus 6-2, 6-0.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2018, with the headline 'Venus stunned by Wang'. Print Edition | Subscribe