Tennis-Krejcikova left in tears after French Open defence ends in opening loss

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - May 23, 2022 Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova reacts during her first round match against France's Diane Parry REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - A tearful Barbora Krejcikova said she hit a wall physically midway through her match against Diane Parry with the defeat ending the Czech second seed's French Open title defence in the opening round.

Krejcikova's last competitive match was in February in Doha before she took a lengthy break to deal with an elbow injury, but she still managed to win the first set in brisk fashion and opened up a 2-0 lead in the second against the local hope.

But her problems started soon after as errors and double faults began to creep into her game as the match progressed against her 19-year-old opponent, who had never faced a top-10 opponent before in her career.

"I think set and 2-0, that was where I hit the wall," an emotional Krejcikova told reporters, with tears trickling down her cheeks.

"I just collapsed physically, and, I mean, it was tough because I didn't play the matches. Usually the matches are different than the practices, and I tried to prepare the best way I could. But, yeah, I collapsed."

Krejcikova, who left the news conference for a few minutes to compose herself, said she was pain-free but she struggled to keep up with the pace during the rallies against the 97th-ranked Parry under the closed roof of Court Philippe Chatrier.

"There was option of a surgery, as well, which I denied," she said, adding that she was unsure of how to deal with her elbow problem for a long time.

"I didn't want to do that one. I was just looking for a different option. I was actually lucky that I found a different option, and with the doctors, they were very nice and they tried to help me the best way they could.

"Then we finally found out how to treat it, I thought maybe I will not make it to Roland Garros. So I'm still very happy to be here."

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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