Venus and Ostapenko knocked out in Paris

Jelena Ostapenko

Defending champion Jelena Ostapenko and seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams both suffered shock first-round losses on the opening day of Roland Garros.

Ostapenko became an unlikely Grand Slam champion when she defeated Simona Halep in last year’s French Open final as an unseeded 19-year-old, but there was to be no repeat of those heroics this time around.

The Latvian fifth seed went down 7-5 6-3 in 95 minutes to Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova, who is ranked 66th in the world.

It was Kozlova’s first ever win over a top-30 opponent.

Ostapenko becomes only the sixth female Grand Slam champion to lose in the opening round of her title defence.

Earlier in the day there was another shock when ninth seed Venus Williams was dumped out by Chinese World No 91 Wang Qiang.

Wang Qiang

Wang saved one of three break points while converting four of 12 to defeat her veteran opponent 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 42 minutes.

Not all the seeds struggled on the opening day, however.

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina made no mistake against Australian Ajla Tomljanovic, wrapping up a 7-5, 6-3 victory in exactly 90 minutes.

Svitolina moves on to face unseeded Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova, who beat Francesca Schiavone 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-2) earlier in the day.

Also safely through was reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens, who needed just 50 minutes to dispatch Arantxa Rus 6-2, 6-0.

Next up for Stephens is 20-year-old Magdalena Frech from Poland.

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