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Zverev loses on day of upsets on French Open showcourt

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PARIS — On a day of upsets on Court Philippe Chatrier, up-and-coming youngster Alexander Zverev lost to Fernando Verdasco when their first-round match resumed at the French Open on Tuesday.

The match was suspended on Monday because of darkness after the players split the first two sets and the ninth-seeded Zverev was eventually beaten 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

No. 7 seed Johanna Konta of Britain had earlier lost 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 to 109th-ranked Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan on the showcourt. Considering the setting, the result is not all that surprising: Konta has now lost all three matches she’s played at the French Open in her career.

The 33-year-old Verdasco pinpointed the third set as the turning point of his match.

“It was a really tough first set, the first one of today. And I think with many games for both of us with chances to win one or the other,” the Spaniard said.

“And, you know, I think that that moment of winning the third set gave me a lot of confidence and a lot of air to play the fourth. And I think it was hard for him on the other side. Like, you know, to start again and have to win two more sets.”

Zverev was one of the outside favorites after impressing on his way to victory at the Italian Open earlier this month. But the 20-year-old German grew more frustrated as the match went on and broke his racket during the fourth set.

“You sometimes play bad. It’s just this is our sport,” Zverev said. “There is no regrets. I mean, what can you do? In Rome I played fantastic, I won the tournament. Here I played bad, I lost first round. That’s the way it goes.

“But the world doesn’t stop now. I mean, I’m still No. 4 in the race to London and I’m still doing OK this year. I won three tournaments so far. It’s not the end of the world, OK? I lost a match, but, I mean, pretty much everybody loses a match every single week they play.”

Meanwhile, Juan Martin del Potro returned to Roland Garros for the first time in five years and the 2009 U.S. Open champion had little trouble picking up a victory.

After a series of wrist operations kept him off the tour for months at a time, Del Potro once again used his big forehand to great effect. He beat qualifier Guido Pella 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in an all-Argentine matchup, showing no sign of the shoulder and back problems that hampered him at the Lyon Open last week and did not face a single break point.

Stan Wawrinka is also safely through to the second round after a 6-2, 7-6 (6), 6-3 win over Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia.

Wawrinka started his clay season poorly before emerging with a title at the Geneva Open last week. The No. 3 seed kept up his momentum in Paris.

“I enjoyed it very much,” said Wawrinka, who won at Roland Garros in 2015. “It was not necessarily easy after I played in Geneva until Saturday to get into gear. I’m feeling good, I’m playing good tennis and I’m happy to be back in Paris.”

Other winners included No. 18 Nick Kyrgios and No. 5 Elina Svitolina.

‘Big 4’ given top 4 seedings at Wimbledon; Kerber also No. 1

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LONDON — The “Big 4” of men’s tennis were given the four highest seedings for this year’s tournament at Wimbledon.

No. 1-ranked Andy Murray, the defending champion, is the top-seeded player, followed by Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Nadal and Djokovic are also in the top four of the ATP rankings, but Federer is No. 5. Third-ranked Stan Wawrinka, who has won the other three Grand Slam titles but not Wimbledon, is seeded fifth.

Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, Kei Nishikori and Alexander Zverev round out the top 10 in the seedings.

In the women’s seedings, Angelique Kerber is No. 1 in a list that mirrors the top-10 rankings. The only exception is the absence of No. 4-ranked Serena Williams, who is pregnant and skipping the tournament.

That means fifth-ranked Elina Svitolina is the fourth-seeded player at Wimbledon, behind Kerber, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova.

Caroline Wozniacki, Johanna Konta, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Dominika Cibulkova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Venus Williams complete the top 10 in the seedings.

Serena bares all in Vanity Fair cover shoot

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After accidentally revealing her pregnancy through Snapchat back in April, Serena Williams has not been shy about sharing her pregnancy with the public. In fact, Williams bares all in the cover of Vanity Fair’s August issue, wearing only the same waist chain she wore in that Snapchat.

The cover photo she tweeted Tuesday shows the tennis star’s full-body profile. Taken by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, the photographs of Williams’ baby bump are surrounded by earthly hues of grey and burnt orange. Her fiancé, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, stepped in for a couple photos, embracing his future wife.

As carefree as she looks in these pictures, Williams probably hasn’t been having the best week after tennis legend John McEnroe questioned her athleticism when compared to men. McEnroe said in an interview with NPR earlier this week that Williams – a 23-time Grand Slam singles winner –  would rank “like 700” on the men’s tour. When he came on the Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday morning, McEnroe stated his confusion over why his comment on Williams was a big deal: “Why is it always McEnroe that gets caught in the middle of this? It drives me crazy.”

Williams, an active Twitter user, responded to his comments:

Williams’ baby, which she has yet to find out the sex of, is due this fall.