Jelena Ostapenko ends Karolina Pliskova’s run
Former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko ousted second seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-2 in the second round at Roland Garros on Thursday after her Czech opponent produced a performance riddled with mistakes.
Latvian Ostapenko, who won the 2017 title as an unseeded player, did not allow a sluggish-looking Pliskova to get a foothold in the match.
“I was just trying to play my game, but I knew I had to return well today because she obviously has one of the best serves on tour,” Ostapenko told reporters.
Pliskova remains the only active former world No. 1 who has not won a Grand Slam.
Top seed Novak Djokovic barely broke sweat with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 thrashing of Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis. The opening set was done and dusted in 22 minutes as Djokovic won the last 10 points and the second set was only marginally more competitive.
Fourth seed Sofia Kenin won 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 against Romanian Anna Bogdan.
Denis Shapovalov joined the list of players griping about the French Open after bowing out of the singles. The Canadian, seeded nine, went down 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-3, 6-8 in five hours to Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain.
Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas produced a clinical performance to outclass Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. He will meet Aljaz Bedene, who defeated Nikola Milojevic 7-5, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(7-4).
The day did not augur well for the Pliskova twins, as former champion Garbine Muguruza sailed ahead with a routine 6-3, 6-2 victory over Kristyna.
Critics have often questioned Alexander Zverev’s mental toughness but when it comes to five-set marathons here, the German’s fortitude cannot be doubted.
On Wednesday the 23-year-old sixth seed was nowhere near his best against French doubles specialist Pierre-Hugues Herbert but chiselled out a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4 victory.
Stefano Travaglia of Italyknocked out Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 6-2 to set up a dream clash with 12-time champion Rafa Nadal.
Lorenzo Giustino, who beat Corentin Moutet in a six-hour epic in round one, ran out of steam, however, in a 1-6, 5-7, 0-6 defeat to Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.
American teenager Coco Gauff was knocked out after losing 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 to Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan.
India’s Divij Sharan and South Korean Kwon Soon-woo were ousted following a hard-fought opening-round loss in men’s doubles. The unseeded pair lost 2-6, 6-4, 4-6 to 16th seeded Croatian-American pair of Franko Skugor and Austin Krajicek.