While admitting that this should probably be another win for comeback supermom Serena, let’s offer this prize to Kateryna Kozlova, the 24-year-old who produced the biggest shock of the championships on its opening day.
First, we must travel back to two and a half months before when she had suffered a knee injury at Indian Wells and was pondering a bleak-looking season. She went back to Europe, with the possibility that she would need surgery, but after expert medical treatment and physiotherapy, she gingerly began her competitive comeback, losing her fifth successive match of the season at Nuremburg, and then could only end up laughing about her bad luck when she drew reigning champion Jelena Ostapenko in the form round at Roland-Garros.
Bad luck? It turned out to be an amazing stroke of fortune for Kozlova, who played nervelessly to ensure that the erratic Latvian was the first French Open defending champion to lose in the opening round in 13 years.
“I was just happy to be on court, back on court, and compete,” shrugged the amazed Kozlova. “And, in the end, the result comes up and it's just amazing!”