French Open Champions Nadal, Sharapova Ousted Thursday; Kvitova Continues To Struggle
by Staff | April 23rd, 2015, 9:18 pm

Both reigning French Open champions Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova lost today in their respective tournaments. Nadal suffered his second straight loss to Italian Fabio Fognini losing to the Italian 6-4, 7-6(6).

“I think today I played really solid tennis,” said Fognini. “I was hitting the ball really well in both sets. The key of course was winning the second set. It would have been difficult playing him at one-set-all, especially the way I would have lost the second set, having had three match points.”

Nadal, who already has lost three matches on clay on the year, is still searching for the right mindset and confidence as the French Open nears.

“It was a disaster today,” Nadal bluntly admitted. “Fabio played better than me and he deserved to win. I didn’t deserve to win. Until I sort out the ups and downs I’m suffering from this season, I will continue to be vulnerable.

“I can only say goodbye to the tournament, one of the best ATP World Tour 500s in the world, and to the club, without doubt one of the best in the world, and that I will keep working hard to find my best tennis.”

Nadal will have a week off before his title defense in Madrid and then onto Rome.

Fognini advanced to the quarterfinals where he’ll meet Pablo Andujar.

While Spanish favorite Nadal lost, David Ferrer was victorious after overcoming a 4-0 hole in the second set to 19-year-old Elias Ymer to win 6-3, 6-4. Ferrer will face German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Top seed Kei Nishikori was also a winner, he’ll meet Roberto Bautista Agut. And Tommy Robredo will take on Martin Klizan.

In Bucharest, top-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils were winners, beating Janko Tipsarevic and Mikhail Youzhny, respectively.

“There are no easy matches,” said Monfils. “I was aggressive and I tried to keep my focus on every ball. I played very solid and I am happy with the win. This was my first match with Youzhny on clay and he is a good player. Anyone could win this tournament, but it will be wonderful if I win it after a good run in Monte-Carlo.”

And at the WTA event in Stuttgart, another French Open champion was eliminated when 3-time defending champion Sharapova lost to German Angelique Kerber in three sets 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.

“We both played very well, high-level tennis,” Kerber said. “It felt amazing out there. The crowd was so supportive of both of us. I was a little bit tired in the second set but when I heard the crowd I was fighting until the last point – it was amazing to feel the support from all the fans here at home.

“It’s a special moment and a special tournament for me – to play at home and in front of all of my family and friends, it’s a great feeling. It’s my favorite tournament, and the best tournament for me.”

Kerber has won her last eight matches, Sharapova, who was 13-0 previously in Stuttgart, has lost three straight.

Sharapova wasn’t the only Grand Slam champion to lose on the day in Stuttgart. Reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova’s struggles continued losing to Madison Brengle 6-3, 7-6.

“I think that Madison played a solid match. She didn’t miss much and it was really difficult for me because when I had the opportunity for winners I missed,” Kvitova said. “The confidence wasn’t really high then and I didn’t feel physically there as well.

“I mean I was still tired probably from the Fed Cup. And on the clay you need to be physically ready for it. So, that was one of the reasons as well. I need to be still patient and I’m looking forward to next week which I’m going to use to practice on clay.”

Since winning her second round match at the Australian Open, Kvitova has gone just 4-4 with one win retirement from Jelena Jankovic in Doha and the other two in Fed Cup last weekend. This was her first WTA event since Doha.

“I didn’t practice on the clay because we had the Fed Cup on the hard courts,” the 25-year-old said. “So, I didn’t play on the clay until the Monday which was my first practice on the clay and, of course after Fed Cup it’s always difficult physically to be there and everything just on time. Yes, I need to find a little bit of timing and work on the physical part.”

Kvitova will have a week off to further practice on clay before the Madrid event.

Caroline Wozniacki and Carla Suarez Navarro also won, they’ll meet in the quarters tomorrow. Former French Open finalists Simona Halep and Sara Errani will also clash.

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17 Comments for French Open Champions Nadal, Sharapova Ousted Thursday; Kvitova Continues To Struggle

Atul Says:

Nadal at its very vulnerable. He has to dig really deep in order to prevail.. HmphH

Margot Says:

I saw Kerber beat Scharapova at Wimbledon last year. Was a good match and an excellent result. Scharapova’s gameswomanship was something else.

jalep Says:

I watched the Stuttgart match- recorded it. It wasn’t that she didn’t fight as usual – Kerber was just getting everything back. Plus crowd support.

Kei and BBA match on. Looks hot in Barcelona.

jalep Says:

Kei took the 1st set easily 62. But BBA has got his game on now making it tough 33 shot rally. Had a BP but…

jalep Says:

BBA serving for 2nd set.

jalep Says:

I’m a big Kei fan but respect to BBA he got it 63. Great match now.

lilayski Says:

Ive always believed in Kerber’s game. Now if she would be more consistent…

jalep Says:

Well Roberto Bautista-Agut played one set bossing Kei then Kei figured him out winng 61. Why I love Kei – very smart.

Felipe Says:

Nadal has zero confidence!…take a look at his forehand…when confident, he unleashes the inside out forehand over the shoulder and the FDDL over the head but with amazing speed in the follow trough….now ALL forehands ends over his head, not even finishing the follow trough….and thats tipicall of a player whos is afraid to miss his shots…a lot of aproaches and open courts ended in the middle of the court or long (match point)….he even look slow out there.

The good news (ranking wise) is that he will remain number 4 for the Madrid draw (Nishikori defending champion), but he MUST get at leats to the finals in order to be seeded 4 at Roland Garros….believe it or not…even Federer can be dangerous in a quarter final of a clay slam

Hippy Chick Says:

Jalep I love Kei but hes quite small so struggles with big power players like Cilic in the USO,do you think he will win a GS i hope he does?….

jalep Says:

Exactly Hippy Chick. He’s small and injury prone. I’don’t be thrilled if he’d get a GS. But it might be too tough.

Watching the Jalep – Errani match now. Hoping Simona wins but Sara Errani is a tricky opponent. She has a really weird serve though that Simona should punish!

jalep Says:

Was supposed to read that I would be thrilled …Damm auto correct.

jalep Says:

@Filipe. Rafa won Madrid last year.

jalep Says:

Klizan wins in straight sets over Robredo.
No joy for Barcelona fans yet.

Kei vs Klizan semifinal.

Wozniacki bores me to death.

jalep Says:

Monfils is into the semi’s in Bucharest. He should win the event!

Meanwhile looked like Fognini tripped over a linesman’s foot at the back of the court. Nasty tumble and hope he’s okay.

Pablo Andujar took the 1st set. Fabio doesn’t appear too interested to play.

jane Says:

“Kei vs Klizan semifinal.” this might be worth a look, though i’d take kei, obviously.

jalep Says:

Didn’t get to watch Klizan and Robredo, jane. Klizan won Casablanca for what it’s worth. I like what I’ve seen of him. Kei had trouble with Bautista-Agut for a set.

Ferrer looks like he can move heaven and hell to win Barcelona. Andujar won’t trouble him.

Top story: After Withdrawals, Kvitova, Pliskova, Brady Lead Doha Field