Eugenie Bouchard out in 1st round of French Open
Fellow Canadian tennis player Pospisil of Vancouver also eliminated
Eugenie Bouchard's disappointing season got worse today as the Quebec tennis player lost her opening-round match at the French Open in straight sets to unseeded Kristina Mladenovic.
The sixth-seeded Bouchard, from Westmount, went down 6-4, 6-4 to the Frenchwoman, who is ranked 44th in the world.
Bouchard was down 5-0 in the second set, and had bounced her racket twice off the clay at Court Suzanne Lenglen in a show of frustration, before rallying to win four straight games. But she couldn't stop Mladenovic from serving out the match.
Bouchard, 21, emerged as a budding star on the women's tennis circuit last season, reaching the semifinals of the French and Australian Opens and the final at Wimbledon, but has failed to carry that high level of play into this year.
She reached the quarter-finals at the Aussie Open and later the round of 16 at Indian Wells, but since then has lost eight of nine matches.
"I don't know what to say," Bouchard said. "I'm just not like myself [on the court]."
Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil, the only other Canadian entered in the singles draws in Paris, was also eliminated Tuesday, losing 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-1 to Portugal's Joao Sousa in the men's tournament.
Pospisil, ranked 53rd in the world, committed 45 unforced errors to Sousa's 16. The 50th-ranked Sousa converted seven of 14 break chances, while Pospisil was 2 for 5.
Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., Canada's top male singles player, is missing the tournament after recent foot surgery.
For just a moment, brief as can be, Novak Djokovic was in a bit of a tight spot.
Djokovic found himself two points from dropping the second set when his first-round opponent, 87th-ranked Jarkko Nieminen of Finland, was serving at 5-3, 30-love.
But Djokovic dug out of that hole, grabbed 22 of 29 points, and wound up stretching his winning streak to 23 matches with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 victory.
The top-ranked Serb is trying to complete a career Grand Slam by winning his first title at Roland Garros.
Perhaps with a post-tournament victory speech in mind, Djokovic has been working with a tutor to improve his French. He conducted his post-match, on-court interview in the local language — much to the crowd's delight.
"I'm very excited to speak French," Djokovic told the fans. "Hopefully my teacher will say that I was good."
Top women's seed Serena Williams needed less than an hour to defeat qualifier Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic 6-2 6-3.
That improved Williams to 58-1 in first-round matches at majors.
The 33-year-old American is going for her 20th Grand Slam singles title. Only two women have won more — Margaret Smith Court (24) and Steffi Graf (22).
Nadal extends win streak
Rafael Nadal didn't really get much of a test in the first round.
The nine-time French Open champion began his bid for title No. 10 with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Quentin Halys, an 18-year-old wild-card entry from France who is ranked 296th and had never played a match at a major tournament.
Nadal has won 67 of his 68 career matches at Roland Garros, including the last 36 in a row.
Sock shocks Dimitrov
Twenty-two-year-old American Jack Sock pulled off an upset by eliminating 10th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.
Pounding serves at up to 220 kph, whipping big forehands and winning the point on 19 of 25 trips to the net, the 37th-ranked Sock beat Dimitrov 7-6 (7), 6-2, 6-3 in less than two hours.
Sock has never been past the third round at a Grand Slam tournament.
Dimitrov was a semifinalist at Wimbledon last year.
Cilic looks sharp
Reigning U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic eased into the second round by beating Robin Haase 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
It was Cilic's first Grand Slam match since winning his title in New York in September. He missed the Australian Open in January because of an injured shoulder.
David Ferrer also made it through to the second round. The runner-up at Roland Garros two years ago, the Spaniard recorded his 300th career match win on his favourite surface with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 win over 94th-ranked Lukas Lacko on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
In 13 straight appearances at the clay-court major, the seventh-seeded Ferrer has always won his opening match.
Wozniacki breezes through
Back on the women's side, former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark stopped Karin Knapp's good run on clay this season with a 6-3, 6-0 win to reach the second round.
Knapp, of Italy, arrived in Paris on the back of her second career title at the Nuremberg Open last week and with an 8-2 record on clay. But she was no match for the fifth-seeded Wozniacki, who made it to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros five years ago.
Wozniacki saved the only break point she faced in the first set and limited her mistakes to nine unforced errors.
Petra Kvitova also made it through to the second round after a tougher-than-expected struggle.
The two-time Wimbledon champion edged 80th-ranked Marina Erakovic of New Zealand 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
On a half-empty Court 3, Jelena Jankovic was the first loser among the seeded players in action on Tuesday. The 25th-seeded Jankovic, a three-time semifinalist in Paris, lost 6-3, 6-4 to qualifier Sesil Karatantcheva.
With files from The Canadian Press & The Associated Press