• French Open, Day Two: Plays of the Day

Kucova retirement on hold and Stakhovsky's phone rage

ESPN staff
May 27, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Zuzana Kucova has had to delay her retirement from tennis © Getty Images
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The French Open moved into its second day Monday, and there was quite a story for all you tennis romantics out there...

Kucova retirement party on hold


In the day's most unlikely result, 30-year-old Zuzana Kucova claimed the first grand slam victory of her 12-year career in a match she had assumed would mark her retirement from the sport.

Kucova, ranked outside the world's top 1,000 but with a career-high ranking of No. 101, beat No. 24 seed Julia Goerges 7-6(8) 6-0 as her Cinderella run in Paris continues.

The Slovenian's career was all but ended by an elbow injury, and after surgery in April she contemplated a new career as a journalist. But with her elbow recovering, she decided to try for one last hurrah at the French Open.

Entering on her protected ranking - players ranked inside the top 300 sidelined for six months or more can enter events based on their old ranking - Kucova came through the qualifying tournament, surviving the odd match point along the way.

When she was paired up against Goerges, a former top-15 player on her own road to recovery following a wrist injury, Kucova expected to take her final bow. "I was stealing hope that I do my best and maybe a miracle happen," she told USA Today.

Not only did it happen, it happened in style. Even with her abbreviated service action, Kucova battled through the first set before running away with the second, bursting into tears after sealing victory.

Kucova's post-match thoughts? "This is crazy. It's not normal. I'm like really nicely shocked that I'm doing such good tennis here."

Up next for Kucova is world No. 178 and fellow 30-year-old Virginie Razzano, no stranger tro an upset herself - the Frenchwoman stunned Serena Williams in the first round last year.

But whether she springs another upset or not, Roland Garros will be her final tournament as a professional: "Whatever happens, I'm quitting."

And we salute you, Zuzana.

Stakhovsky's picture not-so perfect moment


Sergiy Stakhovsky set down his racket during his defeat to seventh-seed Richard Gasquet and briefly became an amateur photographer.

During the first set on Court Suzanne Lenglen, the 101st-ranked Stakhovsky hit a shot that landed right along a line. The ball was ruled out, but Stakhovsky was sure it was in.

He argued with the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, who wouldn't change the decision. So Stakhovsky decided to gather proof for his case, getting his phone and walking over to where the spot in question was, then leaning over to get a close-up of the red clay.

"It was just spontaneous. It's never thought through," he said. "When you see it, you get frustrated, because you saw the ball is nowhere being out and the frustrations comes in.

"I believe it was a bad call, it was a bad judgment. After all, we are playing on clay, where you should be clearly able to read the mark. And unfortunately, not all of our referees are able to do so."

Expect a fine, Sergiy.

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