Former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki's awful 2016 form continued as the former world number 12 was brushed aside in straight sets by the Paraguayan qualifier Veronica Cepede Royg in the first round of the French Open. Having only made it past the second round of one tournament in 2016, her 2-6 2-6 defeat leaves the German floundering outside of the world's top fifty, whilst her opponent enjoyed her first ever win in the main draw of a grand slam event.
Lisicki's fall from grace continues to hurt
It doesn't seem so long ago that Lisicki's infectious personality and play made her an instant pick as many a pundit's dark horse for the grand slams. A big serve, a thunderous forehand and a workrate second to none often proved too much for many an opponent. However, the last six months have been far from kind to her with the German's awful form culminating in yet another first round defeat.
Having already lost in her first appearance at five tournaments this year, including first round defeats in Doha and Rome to Monica Niculescu and Daria Gavrilova respectively, her latest defeat is also her fourth to a player outside of the world's top 100.
In a now customary erratic display, Lisicki hit 34 errors and failed to make a single break point opportunity as her opponent produced a performance of calmness and maturity which completely juxtaposed Lisicki. Cepede Royg, who had to defeat five times grand slam quarter finalist Kaia Kanepi on her way to her first ever main draw appearance at any grand slam, rarely had to produce anything more than composed tennis as she allowed Lisicki to effectively win the match for her.
Cepede Royg's prize for her first ever main draw grand slam victory is a second round encounter against Sloane Stephens, the nineteenth seed, who coasted past Margarita Gasparyan in the first round.
For Lisicki, her defeat merely sums up her downward spiral and she will be waiting eagerly for the beginning of the grass court season, openly known as her favourite and most successful surface, as she looks to resurrect her stuttering career.