Ons Jabeur crashes out of the French Open as Magda Linette fights back from one set down to inflict the tournament’s first major upset against the in-form sixth seed at Roland Garros
- Ons Jabeur was one of world No 1 Iga Swiatek’s top threats at the French Open
- The sixth seed won the first set of her opening-day clash with Magda Linette
- But she then suffered a shock defeat as Linette rallied back to win the next two
- The Pole had only managed one win against Jabeur in four previous matches
- The 30-year-old saved four break points to level the match in the second set
Tunisian Ons Jabeur became the first major casualty on the opening day of the French Open on Sunday when the in-form sixth seed crashed out with a 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 loss to Poland’s Magda Linette.
Jabeur, seen as one of the big threats to world number one Iga Swiatek at the clay court Grand Slam, came to Paris at a career-high ranking and with a tour-leading 17 wins on the surface.
With her win in Madrid and runner-up finishes in Rome and Charleston, it seemed like Jabeur would have an easy outing against Linette when she made a strong start on Court Philippe Chatrier under overcast skies.
Magda Linette beat Ons Jabeur at the French Open after saving four break points in second set
Sixth seed Jabeur was visibly frustrated as she fell away after taking an early lead on the day
The 27-year-old suffered an early break of serve but breezed through the opening set in 37 minutes before Linette, who was ranked 56th before the start of the second major of the year, raised her game.
Linette, 30, had only defeated Jabeur in the first of their four meetings back in 2013 but she staged an inspired fightback in the second set, saving four breakpoints to level the match in the tiebreak.
As drops of rain fell on the main showcourt, Jabeur’s level also dipped and her unforced errors climbed and she made her frustration evident by kicking balls away after losing points.
Linette, who lost to Jabeur in the third round last year, went up 4-2 in the third set but saw her advantage slip away when Jabeur broke her serve back to stay alive.
Linette had only managed one win against Jabeur in their four previous meetings
But the Pole sealed the match when the Tunisian wasted a 40-0 lead in the 12th game and found the net on match point to be broken for the second time in the set.
‘I had so many tough matches with Ons and last year here I lost to her in the third round so I knew how difficult it’s going to be,’ Linette said on court.
‘She was playing so well all this time. I knew I have to be focused and play every single point and try to make her uncomfortable. I am happy that I just managed to fight for every single point.’
Linette will next play Martina Trevisan of Italy or Briton Harriet Dart.