Grigor Dimitrov, seeded 11th in the second tennis Grand Slam tournament of the year, joined the list of high-profile upsets on May 27, losing to Ivo Karlovic in straight sets in the first round of the French Open.
Dimitrov had a good clay-court season this year, winning the title in Bucharest and reaching the semi-finals of the Rome Masters – where he beat Karlovic along the way – and was expected to improve on his French Open performance from last year, when he exited in the third round.
However, he appeared to have no answer to Karlovic’s strong service this time and often stumbled on his own serve, committing six double faults and 22 errors (compared to 16 for the Croat). Karlovic also made good use of the limited opportunities to break Dimitrov’s service, converting two of four break points and conceding no such opportunities himself.
The end score was 6-4, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) in a match that ended in just under two hours. Karlovic will next play against Austria’s Andreas Haider-Maurer or Germany’s Daniel Brands.
Dimitrov is the fourth seeded player in the men’s singles competition at this year’s edition of the French Open to be bounced in the first round, but not even the highest profile upset.
That distinction goes to third-seed Stanislav Wawrinka, the winner of the Australian Open earlier this year, who lost in four sets to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Ninth-seed Kei Nishikori of Japan and 30th-seed Vasek Pospisil of Canada have also lost their first-round matches.
On the women’s side of the draw, 17th-seed Roberta Vinci of Italy was the only high-profile casualty in the first two days of the tournament, but that too changed on May 27, when the second-seed and 2011 Roland Garros champion Li Na of China lost to France’s Kristina Mladenovic in three sets.