Boro beat Sunderland for first victory of 2017
Middlesbrough gave themselves a lifeline and virtually condemned north-east rivals Sunderland to relegation with Marten de Roon's early goal earning a 1-0 win.
PARIS Former semi-finalist Nicole Vaidisova failed to snap her wretched run of form when she became the first seeded casualty at the French Open, beaten 7-6 6-1 by friend and fellow Czech Iveta Benesova in the first round on Sunday.
The 15th seed, who reached the last four two years ago, failed to get going in the second set and, predictably, skidded out by producing a double fault on match point.
World number 70 Benesova's 76-minute win condemned Vaidisova to her worst showing at the claycourt slam in four visits, and her sixth successive defeat dating back to March.
"It's always hard to play your best friend. I have to give her credit, she played a great match," Vaidisova, who has won only one match on tour since reaching the Australian Open fourth round in January, told reporters.
The 19-year-old said she would continue to tweak her game as she aims to rediscover her winning form.
"I've been changing things...and obviously it's not going to pay off right away," she said.
"Obviously, right now I'm bummed because I lost but tomorrow I'll wake up and be ready to go and practise and improve. I'm not going to be depressed...or sad about this."
Benesova will be aiming to progress beyond the second round for the first time in seven attempts when she faces either Russia's Anastasia Rodionova or Peng Shuai of China next.
She said she felt no joy at beating Vaidisova.
"It was a difficult draw for both of us as we're very good friends," said the 25-year-old Benesova.
"We were a little upset about it but that's life. You have to play each other."
(Editing by Clare Fallon)
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