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Tennis-Parry knocks out reigning champion Krejcikova to delight Paris crowd

By Sudipto Ganguly

PARIS, May 23 (Reuters)Barbora Krejcikova’s French Open title defence ended in the opening round on Monday as local hope Diane Parry was roared to a 1-6 6-2 6-3 victory against the second-seeded Czech.

Krejcikova, who defeated Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkovain the 2021 final to win her maiden Grand Slam title, arrived at Roland Garros without any competitive matches under her belt since February due to an elbow injury.

But she breezed through the opening set against the 97th-ranked Parry, who was facing a top-10 opponent for the first time in her career, in 34 minutes before her rustiness showed.

The 19-year-old Parry turned the match on its head by winning the second set as errors and double faults began to creep into Krejcikova’s game.

Krejcikova took a lengthy break after losing the second set and was booed by the partisan French crowd at the Court Philippe Chatrier on her return.

The 26-year-old Czech got an early break in the deciding set but Parry, urged on by the crowd, levelled things at 2-2 and then got the decisive break in the eighth game.

Krejcikova found the net on match point for her 45th unforced error as Parry completed a remarkable victory with the crowd chanting ‘Parry, Parry’ throughout the contest.

“It’s a dream for me. It was always a dream to play on this court with the French crowd to support me,” Parry said during an interview on court.

“They clearly pushed me to victory today. I’m the happiest person right now. It’s never easy to start on this kind of court against the defending champion, you can get a bit tight, which happened in the first set but then I managed to relax.”

She will play Colombian Camila Osorio for a place in the third round.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly, additional reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Martyn Herman)

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