World number one Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova crashed out as the women's quarter-final draw opened up at Wimbledon.

Barty went down 3-6 6-2 6-3 in a compelling contest against Alison Riske on No. 2 Court, while Czech Republic's third seed Pliskova went down to compatriot Karolina Muchova 4-6 7-5 13-11 in an epic encounter.

Riske will face Serena Williams – a 6-2 6-2 winner over Carla Suarez Navarro - in an all-American quarter but 15-year-old sensation Cori Gauff had her superb run at SW19 ended by Simona Halep in straight sets.

Halep is now the highest seed left in the draw after Britain's Johanna Konta kept home interest alive with a thrilling 4-6 6-2 6-4 win over world number six Petra Kvitova.
 

BARTY'S HOT STREAK COMES TO AN END

French Open champion Barty had not lost for two months heading into her fourth-round match but had no complaints as Riske turned in a stirring display.

"Overall I didn't play a poor match. When I needed to, when the big moments were there, Alison played better," she said. "Tough one to swallow but I lost to a better player."

Riske is relishing her reward of a showdown with Williams, who she has partnered in Fed Cup doubles.

"I think it's super exciting. I played doubles with Serena, but never played against her. It will be an interesting match," she said.

"I'm ready for a war. She's the greatest athlete I think that's ever been on the women's side. It's going to be a huge challenge."

GAUFF EXIT TOUGH TO STOMACH

Already a favourite at the All England Club, Gauff was unable to overturn the odds once more against the former world number one Halep.

The youngster seemed to be hindered by illness and called for the doctor in the second set.

"I wasn't feeling 100 per cent. I still tried my best. Simona played really well," she said after losing 6-3 6-3.

"I learned a lot. I learned how to play in front of a big crowd. I learned what it was like to be under pressure. I'm really thankful for this experience."
 

KONTA KEEPS HOME FIRES BURNING

Konta will meet veteran Barbora Strycova – a winner in three against Belgium's Elise Mertens - after bringing Centre Court to its feet at the end of a gruelling battle.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova did not go down without a fight, saving two match points and breaking Konta to recover from 5-1 down to make it 5-4 in the decider, but the elated 19th seed finished the job.

"Petra started playing incredibly freely and hitting through the ball. The balls were coming at 100 miles-an-hour to me," Konta, who assuaged fears over the ankle treatment she received during the match, told BBC.

"I'm tremendously grateful to be here. The way I'm competing, I'm really happy with that."

SVITOLINA LANDING BLOWS ON OTHER SIDE OF THE DRAW

China's world number 50 Shuai Zhang is up next for Halep after beating teenager Dayana Yastremska 6-4 1-6 6-2 to reach a first quarter-final since the 2016 Australian Open.

Yastremska's fellow Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, the number eight seed, brushed aside Petra Martic in straight sets to set up a meeting with surprise package Muchova.

A keen boxing fan, Svitolina will be optimistic of sealing semi-final berth and potentially landing a knockout blow on one of the favourites.

"I love watching it. In Ukraine there is great fighters," she said, while pursuing a triumph that could place her alongside the Klitschko brothers and Vasyl Lomachenko in her nation's affections.

"I'm a big fan of [Anthony Joshua]. Unfortunately, [his] last fight wasn't great."

Simona Halep felt she turned in her best performance of the season as she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon, setting up a clash with Cori Gauff.

Romania's former world number one blew away Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-1 on Centre Court to advance on Friday.

"I'm very satisfied. I think was my best match this year," Halep said. "I played really well. I felt actually very confident.

"I've been aggressive all the match, even if I was 3-1 down first set.

"I expected a tough one. I expected she's going to play well and she's going to hit strong, so I knew that. I was ready for the match. I'm really happy that I could win against a player such as Vika because she's a great one."

Gauff, the 15-year-old American breakout star of the tournament, is up next, although she trailed Polona Hercog by a set and a break when Halep faced the media.

Halep had acknowledged she knew little about Gauff and instead expressed confidence she could beat Hercog, who she had assumed would progress.

Gauff will be facing a seeded player for the first time at Wimbledon but was optimistic it would not have an impact. "I don't think because she's seeded will change me at all," she said, after a 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 victory over Hercog.

 

WOZNIACKI'S TECH WOE

Caroline Wozniacki has played three grand slam finals, winning one, but she has repeatedly struggled to make a breakthrough at Wimbledon, crashing out in the fourth round on six occasions.

The Dane did not even make it to that stage this year and she bemoaned perceived errors from Hawk-Eye in a 6-4 6-2 defeat to Zheng Shuai, believing the technology was making incorrect calls.

"I thought there was a few ones that I saw way differently. But it is what it is. You can't really change a Hawk-Eye call," she said. "Maybe it was right. I just saw it differently."

The umpires appeared to agree with Wozniacki, but she added: "It's the technology. It's supposed to help the umpires and the players. You can't really do anything."

 

PLISKOVA: I ONLY CARE ABOUT MYSELF

Karolina Pliskova was one of two Czech players going through in the women's singles on Friday, with 22-year-old Karolina Muchova also winning to set up a clash with the third seed.

Marketa Vondrousova reached the French Open final, too, but Pliskova bluntly insisted she has taken no interest in improving her compatriots.

"That's not my goal. I only care about myself," she said. "I know it's ugly. It's this way in tennis. I don't really look around.

"For sure, for Czech tennis, for Fed Cup, it's great that there are so many good players, young players. There are some options. For me, it's an opponent. I don't care which country she is."

 

YASTREMSKA BACKING YOUNGSTERS

If Halep wrote off Gauff too early and Pliskova does not give much thought for the Czech up-and-comers, 19-year-old Dayana Yastremska is at least optimistic about the future of the WTA Tour.

"I think there has to be the day when the new generation have to beat the pros, so it's nice that now young players are getting to the top," she said.

"It's good that I'm in the fourth round, but I hope it's not the end. I can see myself going further, but I will try not to think about it. I will play match by match, point by point, and we will see where I get."

She beat Viktorija Golubic, while compatriot Elina Svitolina downed Maria Sakkari. Petra Martic is also through.

Serena Williams' mixed doubles match alongside Andy Murray was postponed until Saturday, though, due to the length of Gauff's match.

Cori Gauff followed up her victory over Venus Williams by easing past Magdalena Rybarikova in straight sets to book her place in the third round at Wimbledon.

Teenage sensation Gauff showed her win against five-time Wimbledon champion Williams was no fluke with a dominant 6-3 6-3 triumph over Rybarikova on No.1 Court.

Earlier on Wednesday, Simona Halep progressed from an all-Romanian tie against Mihaela Buzarnescu, while third seed Karolina Pliskova continued her hunt for a first grand slam prize with a convincing 6-0 6-4 win over Monica Puig.

Caroline Wozniacki was made to work hard by debutant Wimbledon Veronika Kudermetova, eventually prevailing 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 victory, with Anett Kontaveit dispensing of Heather Watson.

It was not all plain sailing for the favourites, though, as Anastasija Sevastova and Madison Keys – 12th and 17th seeds respectively – crashed out.

Margarita Gasparyan, meanwhile, was left in tears as – after she suffered an awkward landing – she had to retire with the score at 5-7 6-5, handing eighth seed Elina Svitolina a reprieve.

HISTORY MAKING GAUFF ROLLS ON

Gauff stunned Williams in the first round, and clearly took plenty of confidence into Wednesday's clash with Rybarikova, making light work of her opponent to set up a third-round tie with Polona Hercog, who beat Keys 6-2 6-4.

"I think I played well, especially on the pressure points. She was serving amazing so it was hard to return sometimes," 15-year-old Gauff told BBC Sport.

"There's so much going on. I'm still shocked that I'm even here. I think I can beat anyone who's across the court. If I don't think I can win the match then I won't even step on the court."

 

HALEP HOLDS FIRM

Former world one Halep dominated early but lost her form in the second set to hand compatriot Buzarnescu a lifeline.

Halep rallied to break twice and win the third set, though, and she will now face two-time semi-finalist Victoria Azarenka, who overcame Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2 6-0.

"I think I'm playing okay. It's always tough on grass. But it was a tougher match than first one, so it was good that I could win it," Halep told a news conference. "I felt confident on court. I felt strong mentally."

 

WOZNIACKI EGES IT AS PLISKOVA CRUISES

Like Halep, Wozniacki was also run close in her contest with Kudermetova, who stunned the world number 19 when they met at the French Open in May.

Kudermetova forced a tie-break in the first set, but Wozniacki's experience eventually told when she reeled off the last two points in a row before closing out the win in style.

Pliskova, meanwhile, had no such issues against Puig, hitting nine aces and 23 total winners in her one-hour victory.

Cori Gauff was in dreamland after the 15-year-old sent shockwaves around Wimbledon by beating Venus Williams, while an emotional Naomi Osaka crashed out on day one.

Gauff became the youngest player to qualify for the grass-court grand slam in the Open Era last week and stunned her idol Williams 6-4 6-4 in her first main-draw match at a major on Monday.

Osaka was unable to join American prospect Gauff in round two, Yulia Putintseva beating the second seed 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 at the All England Club.

Magdalena Rybarikova will be teenager Gauff's next opponent after the Slovakian toppled 10th seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-4.

Simona Halep was troubled by her knee and Achilles, but the former world number one battled past Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4 7-5, while third seed Karolina Pliskova and eighth seed Elina Svitolina defeated Zhu Lin and Daria Gavrilova respectively.

Caroline Garcia, Marketa Vondrousova and Daria Kasatkina were the other seeds to fall on the opening day at SW19.

 

CLASSY GAUFF EXPRESSES VENUS GRATITUDE

Gauff produced an astonishing performance on the renovated No.1 Court and the world number 313 was reduced to tears after dumping out 39-year-old Williams.

Williams had won Wimbledon twice by the time Gauff was born, but it was the youngster who came out on top in the battle of the generations after making only eight unforced errors.

"This is the first time I ever cried after winning a match," Gauff told BBC Sport. "I never thought this would happen. I don't know how to explain it. I'm literally living my dream. Not many people get to say that.

"When we shook hands she told me congratulations and to keep going and good luck. I said, 'Thank you for everything you've done.' I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her."

 

ALL TOO MUCH FOR OSAKA 

Osaka cut her press conference short after losing to an inspired Putintseva as the two-time major champion was "about to cry."

The Kazakh maintained her perfect record against the US Open and Australian Open champion with an inspired display, Osaka paying the price for 38 unforced errors.

The Japanese struggled on grass once again in a tournament where she has not been beyond the third round, losing to Putintseva for the third time last than two weeks after she got the better of her in Birmingham.

 

HALEP 'LUCKY' TO AVOID SERIOUS INJURY

Seventh seed Halep fell awkwardly during her encounter with Sasnovich on the same court where Gauff later stunned Williams.

The 2018 French Open champion needed treatment after overextending when she fell to the turf but was able to solider on with her left ankle strapped.

Romanian Halep said: "It's okay in this moment. But I need to do the treatment. I feel a little bit. I think it's a little bit stretched, the muscle behind the knee, and also the Achilles. Hopefully is nothing dangerous and I can recover until the next match [against compatriot Mihaela Buzarnescu]."

Karolina Pliskova does not think any rivals will be concerned over her imperious form in Eastbourne when she goes in search of a first grand slam title at Wimbledon.

The world number three heads to the All England Club as joint favourite with Ashleigh Barty after being crowned Nature Valley International champion with a 6-1 6-4 defeat of Angelique Kerber.

Pliskova lost only seven points on serve in the second set against the reigning Wimbledon champion on Saturday and did not drop a set all week, making a big statement ahead of the grass-court major.

The Czech has won three titles this year - the same tally as world number one Barty - but does not believe her latest triumph will count for anything in SW19 over the next fortnight.

"Of course, it's going to be new start, new beginning. Nobody's gonna really think about this [at Wimbledon]. Maybe me," Pliskova said with a laugh.

"I just want to totally forget about what was here. Just take maybe only the positives but not to be thinking that everything is going to go that easy as this week, because I never had a week like this, that I didn't lose that many games. I felt like everything went quite smooth.

"Maybe the second set today was the toughest, but I felt everything just went the way it should, which for sure is not going to be like this in Wimbledon."

Kerber saluted Pliskova after the three-time major champion was outplayed in the final.

"I think she played a perfect match. She really played the whole week very well. For me, I was trying to find my game, but it just started in the second set because she really played well. She served good. She didn't give me the chance to find my rhythm," Kerber said.

"At the end I was still trying, especially at the end of the match, to break her back and stay in the match. But, she played well. The chance that I had, I couldn't take it.

"I will try to take the positive things from the whole week, from the last two weeks before going to Wimbledon now. I take the positive, how many good matches I had here. Of course today it was not the result that I wished, but I played against a good opponent."

Karolina Pliskova laid down a huge marker ahead of Wimbledon with a dominant 6-1 6-4 victory over Angelique Kerber in Saturday's Nature Valley International final.

The world number three, who did not drop a set all week, was flawless against the defending Wimbledon champion en route to becoming a two-time winner in Eastbourne.

It was Pliskova's third final at this event in the past four seasons and she was simply a class above Kerber, who had herself been in fine form at the grass-court event.

The 27-year-old, now boasting three titles in 2019, cuts the gap in her head-to-head with Kerber to 7-5 and will head into her Wimbledon opener against Zhu Lin brimming with confidence.

Asked if her triumph boosts her chances at the third slam of the year, Pliskova told the post-match presentation: "Well, I won the title here one year then lost in [the] second round [at Wimbledon], so I don't know what will happen. 

"I play Monday, it's not ideal, but I'll enjoy this and try to do my best.

"All week I didn't drop a set, not all matches were as easy as the score suggests. Angie played a great week and good luck to her for Wimbledon."

Pliskova's power at the baseline and deft touches at the net saw her roar into a 4-0 double-break lead.

Kerber finally got on the board to break back but surrendered serve for a third time after Pliskova won a thrilling point with a fine winner at the net.

The Czech duly served out the opener and there was no let up at the start of the second as Pliskova broke at the first time of asking when Kerber found the left tramline.

Kerber showed some fine resolve to save break points in game seven, but the nerveless Pliskova comfortably saw out her final service games to secure a huge win.

Despite the defeat, Kerber is feeling in good shape ahead of the defence of her Wimbledon title.

"[There's going to be] a lot of emotion," she said. "Of course, going back as defending champion it will be a special moment playing on Centre Court again, a lot of memories from last year. 

"I'm playing good, hopefully I can continue my play from last year."

Karolina Pliskova reached her third final at the Nature Valley International with an emphatic win over Kiki Bertens, as Angelique Kerber progressed with a walkover.

A finalist in 2016 and champion in 2017, Pliskova has found Eastbourne to be a happy hunting ground again and needed just under an hour to rout Bertens.

She prevailed 6-1 6-2 in a match in which she did not face a single break point, sending an ominous warning to Kerber, the reigning Wimbledon champion, who will be fresh after being given an unexpected day off.

Her opponent Ons Jabeur was forced to withdraw with an ankle injury suffered in her quarter-final win over Alize Cornet.

Jabeur posted on Twitter: "Sorry but I had to pull out of Eastbourne semi-finals due to ankle injury of yesterday's match against Alize. 

"I hope to be ready for Wimbledon's 1st round. Thank you Eastbourne for such a great tournament."

"There has to be something in the air here, I'm so pleased with how I handled all the matches," Pliskova said after her match. 

"The score didn't show sometimes the tennis we played. I need to always play good tennis to beat Kiki, I lost to her at Wimbledon last year so I knew it was going to be tough."

On Kerber she added: "I think she's always great on grass, obviously last year she won Wimbledon so it's always super tough."

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was eliminated from the Nature Valley International in dramatic fashion as Aryna Sabalenka gained revenge in a rematch of the 2018 final.

Sabalenka saved a match point and came roaring back from 5-2 down in the third set to win a thrilling last-16 contest 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) at Eastbourne.

Next up for the Belarusian is a meeting with Kiki Bertens, who she has not beaten in three previous meetings. Bertens was a 6-3 6-3 winner over Anna-Lena Friedsam.

"Something unbelievable happened today and I'm so happy that I won this match," said an ecstatic Sabalenka in an on-court interview. "It's a really important win for me."

In the week before Wimbledon, 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko retired from her match with Ekaterina Alexandrova due to a left hip injury, while trailing 6-3 2-1.

Alexandrova now faces the daunting challenge of toppling second seed Karolina Pliskova, who demolished Elise Mertens 6-1 6-2. 

The pick of the quarter-final ties will be a meeting between two former world number ones in Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber. The Romanian came through a three-setter with Polona Hercog while Kerber beat Rebecca Peterson 7-6 (7-4) 6-0.

Home hope Johanna Konta suffered a surprising 6-3 6-2 loss at the hands of Ons Jabeur, who will take on Alize Cornet - a straight-sets winner over Zhang Shuai - in the last eight.

Reigning champion Caroline Wozniacki opened the defence of her title at the Nature Valley International with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Kirsten Flipkens.

Playing in her first match on grass this season, Dane Wozniacki - who also triumphed at the tournament in 2009 - unsurprisingly looked right at home at Eastbourne.

The 11th seed led 3-0 in the first set and then raced 4-0 up in the second and while Flipkens hit back on each occasion, the Belgian was eventually ousted after one hour and 22 minutes on court.

"I love playing here, it brings back great memories for me," Wozniacki told the WTA Tour's official website. "I was here for the first time when I was 14, so basically half of my life. It's pretty amazing."

Second seed Karolina Pliskova also won in straight sets on Monday, the 2017 champion overcoming Margarita Gasparyan 6-3 6-3.

Marketa Vondrousova, the 13th seed, progressed at the expense of Zheng Saisai, though the 6-2 6-3 score did not do justice to how hard the Czech had to work for the win.

Jelena Ostapenko set up a second-round meeting with seventh seed Sloane Stephens by beating Mihaela Buzarnescu at the tournament for a second straight year.

The 2017 French Open champion, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon 12 months ago, rallied from a break down in both sets against her Romanian opponent, sealing a 91-minute victory by taking the final four games in a row.

There were also wins for Daria Gavrilova, Hsieh Su-wei, Tamara Zidansek, Yulia Putintseva and Ons Jabeur before the rain arrived, cutting short play for the day.

Meanwhile, after rising to the top of the world rankings with victory at the Birmingham Classic on Sunday, Ashleigh Barty withdrew from her final tournament before Wimbledon due to an arm injury.

French Open champion Ashleigh Barty continued her superb form with a straight-sets win over Donna Vekic at the Birmingham Classic.

Fresh from her win at Roland Garros, second seed Barty had little trouble in adapting from clay to grass as she eased through her first-round match 6-3 6-4 on Wednesday.

Barty did have to get through a wobble early on, but soon got into her stride to dispatch Vekic – a beaten finalist at the Nottingham Open.

The 23-year-old Australian conceded four double faults through the first set, but soon recovered thanks to some unforced Vekic errors.

Barty was tested as she looked to close out the win, as Vekic came up with a series of impressive winners to break serve.

But Barty had the win firmly in her sights, and an exceptional double break set up a match point which she duly converted to earn a second-round tie with Jennifer Brady, who won her contest with Lesia Tsurenko 6-3 6-3.

British number one Johanna Konta, however, did not fare as well – the seventh seed dumped out by Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-4 in their second-round clash.

Konta reached the semi-finals in Paris, but 2017 French Open winner Ostapenko was too sharp on the grass court midweek.

Petra Martic will be Ostapenko's opponent in the last eight, where they are joined by Kristyna Pliskova, who beat her twin sister and third seed Karolina 6-2 3-6 7-6 (9-7).

Meanwhile, former world number one Venus Williams enjoyed a winning Birmingham debut as she knocked out Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3 6-4 to reach the second round, where she will take on sixth seed Wang Qiang.

Barbora Strycova beat Hsieh Su-wei 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 in Wednesday's other match.

Elina Svitolina suffered an error-strewn loss in the first round of the Birmingham Classic, while Karolina Pliskova was among the seeds to advance.

World number seven Svitolina was beaten 6-3 3-6 6-4 by Margarita Gasparyan, the Ukrainian's cause not helped by five double faults and 15 unforced errors in the opening set in her first match since losing in the last 32 at the French Open.

Third seed Pliskova experienced no such problems as the wildcard did not face a break point in seeing off Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 6-4, the Czech recording her 30th victory of 2019, the third-most among those on the WTA Tour.

Johanna Konta, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros, also advanced courtesy of a 6-4 6-2 success over Anett Kontaveit.

Yet fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka was ousted as Hsieh Su-wei beat a top-10 player for the fourth time this season.

Hsieh, who was a break down in the decider, won 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-1) to set up a second-round clash with her doubles partner Barbora Strycova.

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.

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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