PARIS, France - After losing the first seven games of the match, unseeded Russian Veronika Kudermetova scored the best win of her career to-date on Monday on the French Open.
The 22-year-old rallied from a first-set bagel to defeat former World No.1 and No.13 seed Caroline Wozniacki, 0-6, 6-3, 6-3 on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The victory is the first Top 20 win for the rising Russian, who started 2019 at World No.133 and has nearly cut her ranking in half over the first five months of the year.
"It is a great win for me today. I was so excited to play on this court, in a big stadium, and in this match. I am super excited," Kudermetova said on-court.
"I was a little bit nervous when I started the match, but after game by game I tried to play my tennis. A little bit more aggressive, and I think I did a great job today."
It was an erratic start for the World No.68 in her French Open main draw debut, and only her second career Grand Slam main draw match, on the tournament's biggest court.
The Russian hit 17 unforced errors over the first six games, more than double her total of eight winners, as the former World No.1 quickly found herself ahead with a first-set bagel in her first competitive action since retiring from back-to-back tournaments in Madrid and Rome due to injury.
"After the first set, I said, I played not bad, but that I could play more aggressively than the first set," Kudermetova told WTA Insider after the match. "We played long games, and I tried to play every point and fight until the end.
'I know I can play great matches against top players, and I think I have more confidence to play against big players, play Grand Slams, long matches and to keep working."
However, after losing the first seven games, the Russian got herself on the board with an easy hold, and moved into the ascendency over the course of two hours and four minutes.
She broke from a 40-15 deficit in the third game of the second set to take her first lead, and added an insurance break the next time Wozniacki served to move ahead, 4-1.
Though she proved unable to win a marathon game on her serve, where she saved five break points but surrendered one of her breaks back on the sixth, improved steadiness on her forehand side and timely big serves helped her send the match through to a decider.
Kudermetova's momentum continued to begin the final set, as she claimed the first three games, but she ultimately needed to quell a comeback effort from Wozniacki to seal victory, breaking for a 4-2 lead again before she held on for good.
Kudermetova hammered 40 winners over the course of the match, 32 of which came in the second and third sets, and won over 70 percent of the points played behind her first serve after the bagel set to seal her best-ever win to date.
It is the second upset by a rising Russian in as many days on Court Philippe Chatrier to begin the tournament, as teenager Anastasia Potapova also upset a former World No.1 and Grand Slam champion - No.5 seed Angelique Kerber - on Sunday.