History has been made in the opening round of the French Open, though it is not a record that either Stanislas Wawrinka or Li Na will be happy about.
The men’s world number three and women’s world number two were both Australian Open champions in January, but were defeated in the opening round at Roland Garros by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Kristina Mladenovic respectively.
It is the first time in history that both previous singles Grand Slam winners have gone on to lose in the first round of the following slam.
Wawrinka - who won his maiden Grand Slam in Melbourne in January - lost in four sets on Philippe Chatrier Court on Monday evening, winning just two games in the last two sets on the way to a 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 loss.
It has been a memorable year so far for the Swiss, as he followed up his tournament victory in Australia by winning his first ATP 1000 Masters Series event in Monte Carlo in April.
The 29-year-old had been aiming to become the first player to win both the Australian Open and French Open in the same year since Jim Courier in 1992, before being stunned by world number 41 Garcia-Lopez.
His loss to the Spaniard also marked the first time that the reigning Australian Open champion has subsequently lost in the opening round at Roland Garros since Petr Korda of the Czech Republic in 1998.
Li was beaten in the first match of the day on Suzanne Lenglen Court on Tuesday, making 35 unforced errors on the way to losing to her French opponent 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.
The Chinese player, who won the tournament in 2010, admitted after the match that any player on the tour would have been able to beat her, in what was a disappointing performance.
The 32-year-old said: “It didn't matter who played against me today, I'd always lose because I don't think she had a lot of pressure from me. I think I just gave away the match."
She has failed to beat a top ten player in 2014, though she did follow up her Australian Open triumph by reaching the final in Miami in March.
The last women’s Australian Open winner to then lose in the first round in Paris was American Lindsay Davenport in 2000.
Elsewhere, the top seeds and main contenders in both draws have made it through to the second round, with ninth seed Kei Nishikori being the only other top ten seed to be eliminated in the men’s draw, while all other top ten seeds in the women’s draw have advanced.
*Note, since this report was written Serena Williams has been eliminated at the hands of Garbiñe Muguruza.
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