It's her specialty. With a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over World No.10 Garbiñe Muguruza in the first round of the French Open, Kaia Kanepi knocked out another Top 10 seed from a Grand Slam.
The victory is Kanepi's 19th career win against a seeded player in the first three rounds of a Grand Slam. On Sunday, she rallied from 6-2, 2-0 down to take out Muguruza in 2 hours, 6 minutes. Only Serena Williams (29), Venus Williams (22) and Victoria Azarenka (21) have recorded more wins against Top 10 players among active players.
Ten of Kanepi's 15 career Top 10 wins have come at majors. Earlier this year, she defeated then-World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka at the Australian Open en route to her seventh career Grand Slam quarterfinal. Set to turn 37 on June 10, Kanepi is the oldest player in the women's main draw in Paris. She will play Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia in Round 2.
Muguruza drops to 30-7 in the first round of Grand Slams. The former Roland Garros champion has now lost her opener in Paris in back-to-back years.
Muguruza reacts to latest setback: For the fifth time in nine events, Muguruza lost after winning the first set.
"I think I started very well, although the first couple of games I was start nervous, but I managed to turn them around and get the first set and be dominating," she said in defeat.
"In the second set, it was a moment where I hesitated maybe to close the match ... get more dominant, and she came out with great tennis and managed to put me in a third set. The third set, I think it was a very good set. It could have [gone] both ways, I have a feeling.
"I've had matches so much in control, but then it's I don't manage to close and it gets complicated. A match is a match and at the end, there's only a winner. I feel that I'm training hard, I'm putting the work, I'm playing tournaments, trying to switch those moments, try to get more confident.
"We're going to keep doing it. At some point, I'm a 100% sure that I'm going to go out there and get those wins that are slipping away right now from me."
Teichmann continues clay-court surge; Czechs through too
There was better success for seeds Sorana Cirstea and Jil Teichmann though, as the pair advanced to Round 2 with the loss of just nine games combined.
No. 26 seed Cirstea was the day's first winner thanks to a 6-3, 6-3 win over Germany's Tatjana Maria, while 23th-seeded Teichmann eased to a 6-2, 6-1 win over American Bernarda Pera in just over an hour. Teichmann, a semifinalist in Madrid and quarterfinalist in Rome, broke serve five times to earn her first career main-draw victory in Paris as Pera racked up 34 unforced errors.
"This match was absolutely crucial for me today so I could keep up with the good work and I'm really reassured that my body's fine," Teichmann said, referencing the retirement she gave to Daria Kasatkina in the quarterfinals in Rome.
"I felt great. It's never easy to start a Grand Slam, so I'm really happy with my win today. I know her pretty good, I used to practice a lot with her and so we knew both of us what we were expecting and really glad that I was this solid today."
Czech duo Karolina Muchova and Katerina Siniakova also moved through with straight-set wins. Muchova, playing her first Grand Slam of the season after missing the Australian Open with injury, shook off the rust in a 6-3, 6-3 win over French wildcard Carole Monnet, before Siniakova edged Petra Martic, 6-4, 7-6(6). Two-time quarterfinalist Martic led 3-1 in the opener, and also served for the second set.
Muchova was seeded No.18 in Paris last year, when she made the third round, and the now ranked No.81, she is a looming challenge for No.4 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece.
"I'm happy I managed to win in two sets," Muchova said. "It was tough match, she was fighting for every ball, every first round is a tricky one. "I'm still getting to the level of my fitness where I was and on clay it's pretty hard ... but I'm trying to do what I can with my team. I'm getting there."