• Kyodo

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Japan’s Ai Sugiyama crashed out of the French Open after losing 3-6, 6-4, 4-6 to Nuria Llagostera Vives of Spain in the first round Tuesday.

Sugiyama failed to find her rhythm on a red clay court in her first first-round exit at Roland Garros in four years and her second consecutive defeat in a Grand Slam opening round following the Australian Open in January.

“She (Vives) took advantage of her familiarity with a clay court and played really well, hitting her strokes into the corners,” No. 23 seed Sugiyama said of her loss to the unseeded player.

“She had a deft mix of hard and soft shots, making me unable to be aggressive when I needed to and play defensively when I had to,” Sugiyama said.

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