Sloane Stephens defeated Garbine Muguruza in the pick of the fourth-round matches at the French Open on Sunday.

American Stephens, runner-up at Roland Garros last year, came from a break down in the first set to beat the 2016 champion 6-4 6-3 on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The seventh seed will face the resurgent Johanna Konta in the quarter-finals after the Australia-born Briton got the better of Donna Vekic 6-2 6-4.

Petra Martic, who knocked out Karolina Pliskova in round three, came from behind to defeat Kaia Kanepi 5-7 6-2 6-4 and set up a clash with teenager Marketa Vondrousova after the 19-year-old beat 12th seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 6-0 in under an hour.

 

MUGURUZA MISSES CHANCE

Muguruza started her meeting with Stephens by sealing a break to love, but she missed five opportunities to take the seventh seed's next service game.

Stephens punished the Spaniard by rallying back to take the opening set and she did not face another break point until she was in position to serve out the match.

Muguruza managed to stave off four match points but missed her chance to restore parity and the 2017 US Open winner subsequently moved into the last eight.

 

TWO IN-FORM OUTSIDERS MEET

Vondrousova and Martic will both be making their maiden grand slam quarter-final appearances when they meet in the next round, and they can be considered the two most dangerous players on the WTA Tour at the moment.

Nobody has racked up more wins than Vondrousova since this year's Australian Open - her victory over Sevastova was her 25th in that span and booked a sixth successive last-eight appearance.

The unseeded Czech has won 13 matches on clay in 2019, but the only woman with more is Martic (15) and one of those came when she triumphed in their previous meeting in the final of the Istanbul Cup in April.

 

NO STOPPING KONTA

Konta continued her impressive season on clay by defeating fellow seed Vekic on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

The 28-year-old had never won a match at Roland Garros before this year, but appeared to be feeling more comfortable on the surface as she made runs to the finals in Rabat and Rome.

Konta was modest when asked about what has changed to help her reach the quarter-finals of a grand slam for the first time since Wimbledon in 2017.

She said: "I think the level is quite similar. I think more than anything I am just playing the game quite well. I think that also comes from winning some matches, and you get some match fitness in. So I think similar, maybe just with an added bit of match fitness."

Roger Federer understands Dominic Thiem's frustration over his post-match news conference being interrupted to make way for Serena Williams, but he still found the situation funny.

World number four Thiem was midway through talking to the media when he was ordered to clear the room for Williams, the 23-time major winner having just lost 6-2 7-5 to Sofia Kenin.

The Austrian, a runner-up at Roland Garros last year, fumed: "I don't really get it, seriously. I mean, what the hell? It's a joke - I have to leave the room because she's coming?"

Federer suggested there must have been a communication breakdown and felt Thiem, who had beaten Pablo Cuevas in four sets to advance to the last 16, should have been given priority, but he found the way it played out humorous.

"I don't know what went wrong, but something went wrong for this to happen," said Federer after a straight-sets victory over Leonardo Mayer on Sunday sent him into the quarter-finals.

"I think with all the players there is always a way to go that the one who is still in the tournament gets priority. That's how I see it. If I would have lost against Mayer, I would let Mayer go first or decide when he wants to go to press as he's got a next match. My next match is far, far away. So that's just the way you go about it.

"Now, there must have been a misunderstanding or maybe they should have kept Serena still in the locker room, not waiting here in the press centre. I don't know exactly what happened.

"I understand Dominic's frustration. For him it's just about how in the world did this happen? I don't think he's mad at Serena or anybody. I just think it was an unfortunate situation that I thought was funny and we joked about it just before.

"That's why I'm very much aware of what happened, and that's why we are laughing in the locker room about it now. But in the moment, I understand [why he was] like, 'What is going on? It's a joke'.

"How he said it, it was great. I love his accent. In German, too, by the way, not just in English. And he knows that."

World number one Naomi Osaka and 23-time major winner Serena Williams were the big names to suffer elimination from the French Open on Saturday.

Osaka was beaten 6-4 6-2 by Katerina Siniakova as her quest to win a third grand slam in succession came to an end, while Williams fell to fellow American representative Sofia Kenin 6-2 7-5.

There were no such problems for reigning champion Simona Halep, who is the highest seed left in the draw after overcoming Lesia Tsurenko 6-2 6-1 in just 55 minutes.

Eighth seed Ashleigh Barty will face Kenin following a 6-3 6-1 triumph over Andrea Petkovic, and there were also straight-sets win for 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova and Aliona Bolsova, who will meet in round four after overcoming Irina-Camelia Begu 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 and Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2 7-5 respectively.

Madison Keys overcame Anna Blinkova 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 to advance to a clash with Siniakova, and teenager Iga Swiatek recovered from being bagelled in her first set to win 0-6 6-3 6-3 and set up a match with Halep.

 

OSAKA OUT

Osaka was guaranteed to hold on to her position at the top of the rankings after Karolina Pliskova exited at the hands of Petra Martic on Friday, but 24 hours later the Japanese was on her way out too.

The US Open and Australian Open champion had to come from behind to beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and Victoria Azarenka in her opening two matches and she could not do it a third time.

Osaka suggested the pressure of entering Roland Garros as the world number one made it difficult for her to play with the same freedom.

"I think this tournament I have had a feeling that was different to the other grand slams that I have played, because usually I find it very freeing and fun, and this time around I was kind of tense the entire time," said Osaka.

 

GRAND SLAM TITLE 24 REMAINS ELUSIVE

Williams' hopes of emulating Margaret Court at Roland Garros by winning a 24th grand slam title were dashed by Kenin.

Kenin performed brilliantly to reach the last 16 of a major for the first time in her career, meaning Wimbledon is Williams' next chance of getting the record-equalling piece of silverware.

Having struggled with a left knee injury in recent months, Williams admitted she feels short of matches and is considering playing on grass in the lead-up to Wimbledon for the first time since featuring at Eastbourne in 2011.

 

NO WORRIES FOR HALEP

Halep may have flown past Tsurenko but she suffered three breaks of serve in doing so. However, the reigning champion was not overly concerned and was pleased to get the job done so quickly.

"I was not worried, because losing my serve is happening often," Halep said with a smile. "I'm very confident on my return, so I didn't think something negative. I just looked forward for the next point.

"I expected a tough one, because I was always in trouble in the second set when I played against her.

"I think today was a better match. I played better. And I felt better on court."

Serena Williams feels short of matches and is considering taking a grass-court wildcard to improve her conditioning ahead of Wimbledon.

The former world number one's quest to match Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 major titles took a hit with a surprise 6-2 7-5 third-round defeat to Sofia Kenin at the French Open on Saturday.

The 37-year-old has been struggling with a left knee injury in recent months and had to withdraw from the Miami Open and Internazionali d'Italia, while a viral illness led to her retiring from a third-round match against Garbine Muguruza at Indian Wells.

Williams has played just 12 matches this year and is open to taking to grass before Wimbledon, where she last year made her first grand slam appearance after the birth of her daughter and lost to Angelique Kerber in the final, for the first time since Eastbourne in 2011.

"I'm definitely feeling short on matches, and just getting in the swing of things. I don't really like playing out points when I practice," said Williams.

"I have some time on my hands, so maybe I'll jump in and get a wildcard on one of these grass-court events and see what happens."

Asked how far away she feels from her optimum condition and whether she will be ready for Wimbledon, Williams said: "I'm pretty far away [from top shape], but the optimistic part is I haven't been able to be on the court as much as I would have. That's okay. At least I can start trying to put the time in now.

"I hope [I'll be peak condition for Wimbledon]. I'm still working on it and working on getting there. I think it will be enough time. We'll see, but I definitely hope so."

Kenin produced a string of fine groundstrokes to break twice in the first set and Williams suggested there was little she could have done in response.

"I think she played really well. I feel like she, in that first set in particular, she hit pretty much inches from the line, and I haven't played anyone like that in a long time," she said. "She actually played really well.

"I just think that the player I played today, she just played literally unbelievable. She really went out there today and did great."

Serena Williams' wait for a record-equalling 24th major title continues after she fell to a 6-2 7-5 defeat to the impressive Sofia Kenin in the third round of the French Open on Saturday.

Former world number one Williams was pulled all over the court by high-quality groundstrokes from Kenin, who received a walkover in round two when Bianca Andreescu withdrew due to a shoulder injury in the opening set.

Williams, who has been struggling with a left knee problem, let out huge roars as she attempted to work her way back into the match.

However, despite having the crowd on Court Philippe-Chatrier firmly behind her, the 37-year-old was unable to turn the tide against her fellow American and remains one major title short of matching Margaret Court's all-time record.

Williams pulled out a couple of aces as she denied Kenin on three break points, but a sublime drop shot in game five saw her lose her footing and fall behind.

The 10th seed missed a chance to hit straight back and was two breaks down when her Moscow-born opponent wrongfooted her with an exceptional forehand into the corner.

Kenin thought she had the first set wrapped up when Williams produced a long return, but her serve was called wide. However, she staved off a break point and another fine forehand preceded Williams netting a return to surrender the opener.

The world number 35 broke to love at the start of the second set and kept a fired-up Williams - a three-time champion at Roland Garros - at bay to consolidate.

Kenin was whistled for kicking the mark left by a cross-court backhand that just clipped the line and set up a break point for Williams, who was soon back on serve.

Boos rang out when Kenin questioned another line call but she was in position to serve out the match after a sensational forehand return in game 11.

Williams miscued wide on a chance to break back, while Kenin found the net on her first match point.

A long backhand brought about the end for Williams, with an emotional Kenin advancing to the last 16 of a grand slam for the first time, with Ashleigh Barty standing between her and a place in the quarter-finals.

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

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