Naomi Osaka's struggles early on at the French Open boosted Katerina Siniakova's confidence in being able to end the world number one's quest for a third straight major.

US Open and Australian Open champion Osaka had to come from a set down to beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and Victoria Azarenka in her opening two matches at Roland Garros.

The 21-year-old was unable to repeat the feat against Siniakova – the top-ranked doubles player – and fell to a 6-4 6-2 defeat on Court Suzanne-Lenglen on Saturday.

It was the Czech's first win against a top-three player but she felt Osaka, who admitted to feeling tense due to entering the tournament as world number one, was vulnerable before they stepped on court.

"I felt there was a chance, because her first and second round was tough, so I could see that she's not so confident like she was," said Siniakova.

"I just tried to focus on my game and be ready for a big fight. But I felt there was a chance.

"I can say she's more aggressive than me. It's her game. I was trying to chase every ball and make her miss if it's possible, just try to keep her behind the baseline and not feel confident.

"I think it was really good and it was working and I think her serve today wasn't so good."

A stressed Naomi Osaka conceded she crumbled under the weight of expectation at the French Open but claimed a third-round defeat to Katerina Siniakova was "the best thing that could've happened".

Osaka arrived at Roland Garros as world number one and the winner of the last two grand slams but departed seemingly a broken woman, with a stress-induced headache contributing to an error-strewn 6-4 6-2 defeat to the Czech.

Asked if nerves had played a part in a fairly miserable Paris experience, she said: "Yeah, I would say that, but at the same time I don't want to blame how I played on that.

"But, yeah, definitely I think this tournament I have had a feeling that was different to every other grand slam that I have played. I just feel like there has been a weight on me.

"Usually I find it very freeing and fun, and this time around I was kind of tense the entire time.

"Today I felt very tired. And the other matches too, I had this headache but I didn't feel tired.

"So I'm thinking the headache is just my stress. So it just kept staying because I don't really get sick like that."

Asked to expand on her emotions, the Japanese hinted at depression before backtracking. 

She added: "I don't want to say I feel depressed, but I do. I think it's a natural part of life, especially if you train super hard for moments like these, and then you don't perform how you want to.

"I feel like saying that 'I'm depressed' is a very strong statement because I felt that way before, and it's not as extreme as that. So I would just say I'm very disappointed in how I played, and I wish I could have done better."

Defeat ends the chances of the only player who could have completed a Grand Slam in 2019 but Osaka displayed a rare moment of positivity heading into the grass-court season.

"You know, it's weird, but I think me losing is probably the best thing that could have happened," she said.

"I think I was overthinking this calendar slam. For me this is something that I have wanted to do forever, but I think I have to think that [if] it was that easy, everyone would have done it.

"I just have to keep training hard and put myself in a position again to do it hopefully."

Naomi Osaka's bid to become the first woman to win their first three grand slams in succession was ended by Katerina Siniakova at the French Open on Saturday.

Japanese sensation Osaka rose to the top of the rankings after winning the US Open and Australian Open but her quest for glory at Roland Garros ended in a 6-4 6-2 loss on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

It was the 21-year-old's first loss at a major since going down to Angelique Kerber in the third round of Wimbledon in 2018.

Osaka's run encompassed 16 grand slam matches, and we take a look at who she beat along the way.

 

US Open

bt Laura Siegemund 6-3 6-2
bt Julia Glushko 6-2 6-0
bt Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-0 6-0
bt Aryna Sabalenka [26] 6-3 2-6 6-4
bt Lesia Tsurenko 6-1 6-1
bt Madison Keys [14] 6-2 6-4
bt Serena Williams [17] 6-2 6-4

Australian Open

bt Magda Linette 6-4 6-2
bt Tamara Zidansek 6-2 6-4
bt Hsieh Su-wei [28] 5-7 6-4 6-1
bt Anastasija Sevastova [13] 4-6 6-3 6-4
bt Elina Svitolina [6] 6-4 6-1
bt Karolina Pliskova [7] 6-2 4-6 6-4
bt Petra Kvitova [8] 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-4

French Open

bt Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 0-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-1
bt Victoria Azarenka 4-6 7-5 6-3

World number one Naomi Osaka paid the price for an error-strewn display as she was dumped out of the French Open in round three by Katerina Siniakova.

Osaka - the reigning US and Australian Open champion - battled back from the brink in each of her first two contests at Roland Garros, coming from a set down to defeat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and Victoria Azarenka.

However, she could not recover from dropping the first set against Siniakova, the WTA's top-ranked doubles player, as she became the latest big name to exit the women's draw. Osaka was ultimately beaten 6-4 6-2, suffering her first slam defeat since a third-round defeat to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon in 2018.

The top seed started brightly on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, firing a host of winners and earning three early chances to break her opponent.

It was Siniakova who ultimately claimed the advantage in the ninth game, though, and the underdog then saved four further break points to serve out the first set.

If Osaka's form had been hit and miss in the opener, it deteriorated in set two, with her backhand particularly erratic.

A series of unforced errors enabled Siniakova, ranked 42nd in singles, to seize control and Osaka cut a disconsolate figure as she slumped to defeat before making a hasty departure from the court.

In contrast, a delighted Siniakova was able to savour her first career win over a world number one, stating in an on-court interview: "It's incredible, it's amazing. I'm just so happy now."


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Katerina Siniakova bt Naomi Osaka [1] 6-4 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Siniakova - 12/13
Osaka - 25/38

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Siniakova - 3/3
Osaka - 1/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Siniakova - 3/6
Osaka - 0/7

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Siniakova - 67
Osaka - 52

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Siniakova - 68/56
Osaka - 67/48

TOTAL POINTS
Siniakova - 67
Osaka - 56

Simona Halep made the most of a shoddy display from Lesia Tsurenko to book her place in round four of the French Open with a 6-2 6-1 triumph in just 55 minutes.

Reigning champion Halep was taken the distance in her opening two matches at Roland Garros but sailed through against Tsurenko, who was seemingly struggling with injury after requiring three hours and three minutes across two days to see off Aleksandra Krunic in the second round.

The Ukrainian struggled behind her serve and just two holds for Halep – something that may rankle despite the relatively routine win – proved sufficient for her to take the opener.

Tsurenko took a medical time-out after falling 3-0 down in the second set and the third seed showed no mercy as she sealed the victory in confident fashion.

The Ukrainian twice double faulted on break point – she produced three in succession in her second service game – as Halep took a 3-1 lead in the opening set.

Tsurenko was also struggling with her groundstrokes and four straight unforced errors handed Halep another break.

Although Tsurenko hit straight back, she was quickly struggling again and Halep had the set wrapped up when the 27th seed when long with a backhand slice.

The Romanian broke in the opening game of the second with a searing backhand down the line and took a 5-0 advantage after Tsurenko received treatment on a thigh issue.

Halep had sped through gears and, after being broken to love, completed a rapid triumph with a backhand volley at the net.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Simona Halep [3] bt Lesia Tsurenko [27] 6-2 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Halep - 9/14
Tsurenko - 8/32

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Halep - 0/3
Tsurenko - 0/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Halep - 8/10
Tsurenko - 3/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Halep - 74
Tsurenko - 62

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Halep - 61/33
Tsurenko - 41/5

TOTAL POINTS
Halep - 55
Tsurenko - 30

Karolina Pliskova became the first major casualty of the French Open on Friday, while Garbine Muguruza ousted Elina Svitolina in a blockbuster third-round clash.

Second seed Pliskova fell 6-3 6-3 to the in-form Petra Martic, who will battle Kaia Kanepi - a 4-6 6-3 6-0 winner against Veronika Kudermetova - for a place in the quarter-finals.

Muguruza kept her hopes of triumphing at Roland Garros for a second time alive by overcoming Svitolina 6-3 6-3, though Sloane Stephens and Anastasija Sevastova found the going much tougher.

Donna Vekic defeated Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-1 and will face Johanna Konta after the Brit defeated Viktoria Kuzmova 6-2 6-1.

Lesia Tsurenko finished off her match with Aleksandra Krunic to book a third-round meeting with reigning champion Simona Halep, while Madison Keys beat Priscilla Hon in another clash held over from Thursday.

 

PLISKOVA LOSS KEEPS OSAKA AT NO. 1

Four players had a chance to overhaul Naomi Osaka as world number one at the French Open.

After Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens pulled out and Angelique Kerber was stunned by Anastasia Potapova, Pliskova was the last of those standing when she stepped out on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

However, the Czech was beaten in straight sets by Martic, who took a 4-1 lead in their head-to-head by continuing her fine run with a 14th win on clay this season - more than any other woman.

Osaka now has one less thing to worry about as she aims to make it three major titles in succession in Paris.

 

SEVASTOVA DIGS DEEP

Sevastova and Elise Mertens both made major semi-finals in 2018 and they served up an enthralling match to start the action on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

Mertens passed up five match points in a mammoth third set before Sevastova delivered the crucial break and served out the match to advance to round four.

"I think [my] aggressive play, probably it paid off. And just staying tough. It's not easy when you're always, like, 4-5 down, 5-6 down. It can go either way. In the end, we both didn't deserve to lose," said the victorious Sevastova.

Standing between the Latvian and the quarter-finals is Marketa Vondrousova, who downed Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets.

 

NO LET-UP FOR MUGURUZA

Muguruza came from a break down in the second set to triumph against ninth seed Svitolina and reach round four for the sixth year in succession.

However, the 2016 champions faces another tricky challenge in the form of Stephens next.

Stephens, the US Open winner in 2017 and runner-up at Roland Garros last year, beat Polona Hercog 6-3 5-7 6-4 after passing up four match points when serving for the second set on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

Mugruza said of the American: "I think she's playing good. She did [make the] final last year here, so obviously she likes to play here. She likes the clay court ... it will be another good match."

Naomi Osaka will retain her world number one status after Karolina Pliskova followed Kiki Bertens, Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber out of the French Open.

Second seed Pliskova was the last of the four players who had a shot at overhauling Osaka left in the draw when she stepped onto Court Philippe-Chatrier to face Petra Martic on Friday.

The Czech needed to reach the final to keep her hopes of returning to the top of the rankings alive but fell to a 6-3 6-3 defeat to the impressive Martic.

Bertens, who also required at least a place in the tournament decider to move ahead of Osaka, fell out of the running when she retired from her second-round meeting with Viktoria Kuzmova due to illness.

Kvitova needed to win the title to have any chance of taking the number one spot, but she withdrew ahead of her first-round match against Sorana Cirstea with a left arm injury.

Kerber's hopes rested on winning La Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen and a surprise defeat to Anastasia Potapova in the first round brought an end to those aspirations in Paris.

Third seed Simona Halep remains in the competition but as the defending champion she cannot add to her tally of ranking points.

Osaka takes on the unseeded Katerina Siniakova in round three on Saturday.

Karolina Pliskova's hopes of winning a first grand slam title at the French Open were dashed by in-form Petra Martic in round three on Friday.

Second seed Pliskova arrived at Roland Garros on the back of her triumph at the Internazionali d'Italia but struggled to break down the strong defence of Martic in a 6-3 6-3 defeat on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

It was the Croatian's 14th win on clay this year, more than any other woman, a phenomenal run that has now seen her add the biggest win of her career to a maiden WTA Tour title in Istanbul.

Martic, who withdrew from the Internationaux de Strasbourg last week due to a back injury, did not face a single break point in the opening set, making it clear Pliskova would not have things as easy as in her 56-minute second-round win against Kristina Kucova.

The Czech dropped her serve in game two of the second set but reeled off the next three in succession – though she had to stave off a trio of break points in the midst of doing so.

However, Pliskova was unable to secure a second break and a long smash left her with her head in her hands as she gave Martic a chance to serve out the match.

The 31st seed had to fend off three break points before advancing, a stunning volley at the net forcing deuce before she rounded off the upset with an ace.

Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep were taken the distance in round two of the French Open on Thursday, while Serena Williams avoided the same fate.

World number one Osaka came from a set and a break down to defeat two-time major winner Victoria Azarenka 4-6 7-5 6-3 in an enthralling encounter on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, where Magda Linette made reigning champion Halep fight for a 6-4 5-7 6-3 victory.

Williams appeared to be in improving form as she dispatched Kurumi Nara 6-3 6-2, while Ashleigh Barty got past Danielle Collins 7-5 6-1 and Belinda Bencic triumphed in a meeting with Laura Siegemund that was held over from Wednesday.

Seeds Aryna Sabalenka (11), Qiang Wang (16), Daria Kasatkina (21), Caroline Garcia (24), Hsieh Su-wei (25) and Maria Sakkari (29) all bowed out. Madison Keys (14) and Lesia Tsurenko (27) were in third sets when their matches were suspended.

 

NAOMI'S TOXIC TRAIT

After overturning a dropped first set to Azarenka, Osaka admitted the way she puts pressure on herself can make things difficult. However, the winner of the past two grand slams has no intention of changing.

She said: "It's more like I feel like I have to win. I acknowledge that's kind of a toxic trait, but, like, it's gotten me this far, so..."

Halep looked set to crumble when she surrendered three match points and lost four games in succession to Linette, who forced a decider.

However, the Romanian managed to finish the job as the light faded and rain set in.

 

SERENA THANKED BY ANISMIOVA

Teenager Amanda Anisimova scored a second major victory over Sabalenka, who she also beat at the Australian Open, in impressive fashion, triumphing 6-4 6-2 in just 75 minutes to become the youngest American woman in round three at Roland Garros since Williams in 1998.

The 17-year-old revealed how words of encouragement from Williams helped her following a second-round loss to Anett Kontaveit at the Miami Open.

"It was a really long match and I was super upset in the locker room, Serena actually came up to me and we shared a little bit of a chat. That was really nice of her and I'll remember it forever," said Anisimova.

When asked about the incident, Williams said: "I was heartbroken when she walked into that locker room, and I wanted to be there for her because I have been there. It's an interesting position, because no one ever says anything, even though I feel like a lot of people want to. I just decided, I'm not gonna do that anymore."

 

SEEDS TUMBLE

Just four seeds in the top half of the draw have booked their place in round three (Osaka, Halep, Barty and Williams), while Keys and Tsurenko's chances remain in the balance.

Anna Blinkova frustrated the home fans as she guaranteed her deepest run at a grand slam by knocking out Garcia 1-6 6-4 6-4.

Iga Swiatek, making just her second main-draw appearance at a major, ousted Wang 6-3 6-0, before Andrea Petkovic and Olympic champion Monica Puig upset Hsieh and Kasatkina.

 

SAFAROVA SALUTED

Tributes were paid to Lucie Safarova on Court Philippe-Chatrier with the Czech having called time on her career after she and partner Dominika Cibulkova lost in the first round of the women's doubles on Wednesday.

Safarova, a runner-up to Serena Williams in the singles at Roland Garros in 2015 and two-time women's doubles champion with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, was presented with a trophy by French Tennis Federation president Bernard Guidicelli and French Open tournament director Guy Forget.

Simona Halep was made to work hard for a 6-4 5-7 6-3 victory over Magda Linette in round two of the French Open on Thursday.

Reigning champion Halep endured a second-set dip as she was taken the distance by Ajla Tomljanovic in her opener and she suffered the same fate on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

Linette saved three match points as she came from 5-3 down in the second set, reeling off four games in succession to force a decider.

The Pole was unable to build on that and match her best performance at a major by reaching the third round, with Halep eventually beating the approaching darkness and rain to get over the line.

Halep won the opening game on Linette's serve with an incredible forehand down the line from a deep, wide position and she consolidated when the Pole found the net.

Linette staved off three break points before getting back on serve, but Halep turned up the tempo again and moved into a 5-2 lead after forcing deuce with a fine inside-out forehand.

The Romanian required two attempts to serve out the set as the pair continued to trade blows and she moved a break up in the second when her opponent went long.

Halep held to love to move one game away from victory and she earned her first match point after stepping in from the baseline and firing a forehand past Linette.

Linette managed to hold her off and did so twice more when the third seed attempted to serve out the match, before breaking back and forcing the decider with a pair of exceptional winners.

A wayward forehand gifted Halep the initiative in the third set, but she handed back a second break when a forehand clipped the net cord and fell wide.

An unperturbed Halep provided an immediate riposte before, having held from deuce after leading 40-0, she finally closed things out when Linette was on serve.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Simona Halep [3] bt Magda Linette 6-4 5-7 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Halep - 27/44
Linette - 31/42

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Halep - 4/4
Linette - 2/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Halep - 8/17
Linette - 6/10

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Halep - 73
Linette - 54

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Halep - 61/34
Linette - 48/48

TOTAL POINTS
Halep - 111
Linette - 98

Serena Williams refused to offer an explanation about an image of her in a wheelchair that was shared on social media prior to the start of the French Open.

Former world number one Williams is struggling with a left knee injury – she played just one match on clay prior to arriving at Roland Garros – and was pictured in the chair while out with her family.

The 23-time grand slam champion, who had to fight from a set down to defeat Vitalia Diatchenko in round one on Monday, was not forthcoming when asked about the photo following her straight-sets victory over Kurumi Nara three days later.

"I'm not going to get into that. I'm playing, and all's good," said Williams, before adding that her knee felt "okay".

Williams faces fellow American Sofia Kenin in the third round and, despite admitting to feeling a little rusty, has no doubt her condition will only continue to improve.

"I have had a tough year since I twisted my ankle in Australia. It's just been really tough after that," she said.

"So everything definitely feels a little bit harder than normal, but at the same time, I know that it's going to get better."

On Kenin, she added: "I know her game really well. She had a really great run in Australia, and I have been watching her. I think it will be a good match.

"She has a lot to bring to the table. She has a lot of excitement and she's a good player. She's so young, and she's such a good player. I'm actually looking forward to that match."

Naomi Osaka revealed she "felt like a challenger" during her second-round French Open clash with Victoria Azarenka.

World number one Osaka was forced to battle back from a set and a break down for the second time in two matches at Roland Garros as she defeated former top-ranked player Azarenka 4-6 7-5 6-3.

The Japanese has won the past two grand slams, but playing an opponent who twice claimed the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, she claimed Azarenka felt like a scalp.

"I kind of felt like a challenger," Osaka told a news conference. "I know she went to the semis here before, so obviously she has a lot more experience here.

"She won grand slams and she was number one way before I was. I'm still kind of new at this. I don't know.

"For me, I have always wanted to play her while she was at her best. I know the last time I played her, in Rome, it definitely wasn't close, so I woke up excited today.

"Then I got really nervous - and then it got better."

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova had also pushed Osaka all the way in her opening match and the 21-year-old actually felt as if she played well against Azarenka despite facing a similar result.

"I think, for me, I feel like I didn't dip at all during this match," Osaka said. "[Azarenka] was just playing so well.

"I was just waiting for her to get a little bit tired. I think she did towards the end of the second set and the third set. That's when I just tried to really accelerate how fast I was winning the points."

It was put to Osaka that she showed calm as she battled back, yet the player disagreed, pointing to a missed opportunity late in the match that dragged out another two games.

"I choked on this side and I almost choked over there, too," she laughed on-court. "I'm very emotional, I think."

Serena Williams made light work of Kurumi Nara to move into the third round of the French Open in straight sets on Thursday.

The 23-time grand slam champion was not quite at her clinical best, letting a series of early break-point opportunities go, but her progression never looked to be in doubt in a 6-3 6-2 victory.

There were certainly no signs of the difficulties Williams had endured when recovering from a set down to defeat Vitalia Diatchenko last time out, with Nara no match for the 10th seed.

Court Philippe-Chatrier was conquered again and Williams can look forward to a meeting with 20-year-old compatriot Sofia Kenin, who was granted a walkover by Bianca Andreescu's withdrawal.

There were no chances for either player until a marathon sixth game in which an increasingly frustrated Williams expertly forged six openings but failed to capitalise on any of them.

However, the pressure finally told when Nara served again as a stunning return saw Williams move in front, before she followed up with a confident hold to clinch the set.

And the three-time champion in Paris took her form into the second to deliver an early break, securing complete control of the contest.

A stunning unorthodox lob picked out the corner of the court to set up a further break point and Williams was well clear as she converted with another devastating return.

There was no letting up from the 37-year-old, who went after Nara again in pursuit of a third consecutive break, falling short but then stylishly holding to cruise through to the last 32.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Serena Williams [10] bt Kurumi Nara 6-3 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Williams - 36/21
Nara - 11/4

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Williams - 10/0
Nara - 2/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Williams - 3/12
Nara - 0/0

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Williams - 73
Nara - 76

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Williams - 84/66
Nara - 51/66

TOTAL POINTS

Williams - 65
Nara - 44

Naomi Osaka again had to battle from behind to keep her quest for French Open glory alive with a thrilling 4-6 7-5 6-3 victory over Victoria Azarenka in round two.

World number one Osaka had to twice stop Anna Karolina Schmiedlova serving out the match to avoid an upset in her opener at Roland Garros and recovered from a set and a break down to win through in two hours and 50 minutes on Court Suzanne-Lenglen on Thursday.

The reigning US Open and Australian Open champion, who is aiming to join an elite group of seven women to win three straight majors in the Open Era, paid the price for committing 15 unforced errors in the first set of what she correctly expected to be "one of the hardest matches of the year".

However, Osaka found the lines at the right time to force a decider, in which she denied former world number one Azarenka a first victory over the WTA's top-ranked player since giving birth to her son in December 2016.

Osaka said she had never been more nervous than in her opening match on Court Philippe-Chatrier and a change of location did not appear to make her feel more settled as she struggled in the early exchanges.

A trio of unforced errors saw her give up her serve in the opening game and Azarenka, who was performing brilliantly from the baseline, made it a double break when the Japanese failed with a volley at the net.

Osaka finally appeared to be finding her range but, despite reducing the deficit, a miscued forehand deservedly gave Azarenka the first set.

Osaka shrieked upon rushing in and burying a forehand into the net on her third opportunity to forge ahead in game four of the second and two-time Australian Open winner Azarenka punished her by holding and then breaking with a fine volley after the top seed's double fault sent the game to deuce.

The 21-year-old got back on serve courtesy of a double fault from Azarenka, who wasted three chances to go 5-3 up, and was playing on the limits when a sweet backhand found the line to convert set point at the fourth attempt.

Azarenka wasted three chances to break Osaka's serve at the start of the decider but the Japanese was not as forgiving, pouncing on her first opening by wrong-footing her opponent with a forehand into the corner.

The Belarusian was visibly frustrated and she made four errors in succession to open the door for Osaka to serve out the match, which she did at the second attempt and on her second match point.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Naomi Osaka [1] bt Victoria Azarenka 4-6 7-5 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Osaka - 52/43
Azarenka - 35/38

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Osaka - 6/1
Azarenka - 3/5

BREAK POINTS WON

Osaka - 5/14
Azarenka - 4/11

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Osaka – 62
Azarenka - 66

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Osaka - 60/56
Azarenka - 59/43

TOTAL POINTS

Osaka – 115
Azarenka - 104

Sloane Stephens and Garbine Muguruza sealed their places in the third round of the French Open but Kiki Bertens and Bianca Andreescu pulled out on Wednesday.

Last year's runner-up Stephens beat Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1 7-6 (7-3) on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Muguruza, champion at Roland Garros three years ago, was a 6-4 6-1 winner against Johanna Larsson.

Bertens was 3-1 down against Viktoria Kuzmova in the first set when she retired due to illness, while Canadian rising star Andreescu will not face Sofia Kenin as she is suffering with a shoulder injury.

Elina Svitolina went through without playing, as Kateryna Kozlova is struggling with a rib injury, while Karolina Pliskova thrashed Kristina Kucova 6-2 6-2.

Anastasija Sevastova and Johanna Konta were among the other winners on day four. 

 

STEPHENS IN 'A GOOD HEAD SPACE'

Stephens employed Sven Groeneveld as a coach this month and the American feels "everything is falling into place".

The seventh seed said: "I feel good. Obviously bringing on Sven I have had a lot of structure the last couple of weeks, at the amount of time we've been working.

"I feel like I'm in a good head space. I'm playing better.

"I'm seeing the court well, which I think is really important for me. My movement is good. Everything is just kind of falling into place, and that's kind of what you want."

 

BLOW FOR WELL-FANCIED BERTENS 

Bertens was tipped as a contender to win her first major in the French capital but was struck by illness in the opening week.

The world number four from the Netherlands said: "Yesterday I felt good. No problems at all. I was practicing, resting, and I felt really well, ready for today.

"And then this morning I woke up at 3:00, and then I felt really sick. Vomiting, diarrhoea all night long, all day long. I felt a little bit better before the match.

"I had some sleep, and I just wanted to give it a try, but then as soon as I start warming up right before the match, it started again. There was not any energy left."

Kuzmova will face Konta in the last 32.

 

MUGURUZA RELISHING SVITOLINA TEST

Muguruza will face Svitolina in one of the eye-catching third-round showdowns and looking forward to testing herself against the WTA Finals champion.

She said:  "I think it's a great third round for both of us. It's the type of match that I want to play. It can be, you know, any deep-round match, but it's in the third round. So it's going to be a good one."

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