Petra Kvitova’s French Open comeback ended in the second round on Wednesday as she was knocked out in straight sets by American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
The two-time Wimbledon champion was appearing in her first tournament since a horrifying knife attack at her home in the Czech Republic in December but lost 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5).
Mattek-Sands, the world number 117, will face 2010 Roland Garros finalist Sam Stosur of Australia for a place in the last 16. The 32-year-old American, doubles winner in Paris in 2015, refused to buckle when Kvitova went 4-2 ahead.
She whipped in a series of ferocious forehand winners while also frustrating the Czech, constantly forcing her to the net to win the first set with a tiebreak.
Kvitova, who had struggled with her returns despite the American getting less than half of her first serves in, pulled herself together and rallied back from 3-1 down to force another tiebreak.
The American, however, kept her cool and watched as Kvitova surrendered on match point with her ninth double fault.
“I’m disappointed, for sure. I came here to win the matches,” said twice former Wimbledon champion Kvitova. “But I really fight. I mean, after the match, I didn’t feel that bad as normally I probably do. I’m still happy I’m here and playing. The fairytale ended. Now, in upcoming weeks, I think it will be business as usual.”