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PIX: Ostapenko stuns Pliskova; Easy for Djokovic, Tsitsipas

Last updated on: October 01, 2020 23:44 IST
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Images from Day 5 of the French Open, at Roland Garros, in Paris.

French Open

IMAGE: Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko hit 27 winners during her second round match against the Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova. Photograph: Christian Hartmann /Reuters

Former champion Jelena Ostapenko ousted second seed Karolina Pliskova from the French Open with a 6-4, 6-2 win in the second round of the French Open on Thursday after an error-ridden performance from the Czech player.

 

Latvian Ostapenko, who won the 2017 title as an unseeded player, played aggressively from the start and hit 27 winners as a strangely subdued Pliskova struggled to rein in her unforced errors under the closed roof of Court Philippe Chatrier.

"I was just trying to play my game, but I knew I had to return well today because she obviously has, like, one of the best serves on tour, Ostapenko told reporters.

"I think I was returning very well today. Also, I had to hold my serve, which I did pretty good. Also to use some drop shots, because it's a very good shot in these conditions."

Karolina Pliskova

IMAGE: The Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova made 25 unforced errors. Photograph: Christian Hartmann /Reuters

The 23-year-old Ostapenko, ranked 43rd, was aggressive from the start as her strangely subdued opponent struggled to rein in the mistakes under the closed Court Philippe Chatrier roof.

Pliskova, known as one of the biggest servers in the women's game, committed three unforced errors and a double fault in the opening game of the match to be broken to love.

The script did not change much for Pliskova for the rest of the afternoon.

Ostapenko went on to break three times in the first set and twice in the second to seal victory in 69 minutes.

She converted her third match point when Pliskova, who had 25 unforced errors, sent a forehand long.

The Latvian painted the red clay with 27 winners against her opponent's nine while keeping her unforced errors to 19.

"I'm sure I could do much better. I know that she can be tough if she's playing well, but I think everything started with me," Pliskova told reporters, adding that she would possibly not play anymore in the 2020 season.

"Definitely I was not playing great. I think maybe the same level as the match before but of course she's a much better player. Not much to say about this match."

Pliskova remains the only active ex-world number one who has not won a Grand Slam.

Next up for Ostapenko in the third round is Paula Badosa, who upset former US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Spain's Paula Badosa sends Stephens packing

Spain's Paula Badosa

IMAGE: Spain's Paula Badosa plays a backhand during her second round match against Sloane Stephens of the United States. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Former French Open runner-up Sloane Stephens was dumped out of the tournament when she lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to Paula Badosa of Spain in the second round.

The American 29th seed, a finalist at Roland Garros two years ago, was rarely in the mix on court 12, her comeback to one-set all proving to be a false dawn.

The result capped a miserable run on clay this season for the 2017 US Open champion, who entered the event on the back of first-round exits at the Italian Open and Strasbourg International.

Badosa, 22, will play her first third round match at a Grand Slam against 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

Tsitsipas swats aside Cuevas

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas, left, knocks racquets at the net with Uruguay's Pablo Cuevasfollowing his straight sets victory.

IMAGE: Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas, left, knocks racquets at the net with Uruguay's Pablo Cuevasfollowing his straight sets victory. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas produced a clinical performance to outclass Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 and advance to the third round.

The 22-year-old Greek needed over three hours to rally from two sets down and beat little-known Spaniard Jaume Munar in round one and he could not have hoped for an easier second match on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Tsitsipas broke the 34-year-old Cuevas’s serve six times while facing a single break point during his own service games and closed out victory in 88 minutes.

He converted his match-point when Cuevas sent a service return long.

He will next meet Aljaz Bedene, who defeated Nikola Milojevic 7-5, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(4).

Djokovic has another easy outing

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Serbia's Novak Djokovic needed just 83 minutes to demolish Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis for his 70th victory at the French Open. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Top seed Novak Djokovic barely broke sweat in reaching the French Open third round with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 thrashing of Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis.

Some rare sunshine bathed the Court Phillipe Chatrier, but it was dull viewing for the few spectators allowed in to watch the 33-year-old glide effortlessly through.

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. 

Berankis, ranked 66th, needed courtside treatment on his back before the start of the third set but got back to his feet to endure more punishment from the clinical Serb.

Djokovic, bidding for his second French Open crown and 18th Grand Slam title, has dropped 10 games in two rounds so far and occasionally looked bored on Thursday, taking the opportunity to practise his drop shot on numerous occasions.

He finished it off after only 83 minutes with his 10th ace.

It was a carbon copy of the pair’s only other Grand Slam clash when Berankis also managed only five games, at the 2013 U.S. Open.

It was Djokovic’s 70th victory at the French Open, moving him into joint second place on the all-time list with Roger Federer.

Kenin huffs and puffs into third round

Sofia Kenin of the United States was out of sorts in the opening set before finding her range during her second round match against Ana Bogdan of Romania

IMAGE: Sofia Kenin of the United States was out of sorts in the opening set before finding her range during her second round match against Ana Bogdan of Romania. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

American fourth seed Sofia Kenin ran into a spot of bother before reaching the French Open third round with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Romanian Anna Bogdan.

Kenin, the best American hope at Roland Garros along with last year's semi-finalist Amanda Anisimova after Serena Williams withdrew injured on Wednesday, was out of sorts in the opening set before finding her range.

The Australian Open champion struggled to handle Bogdan's cross-court backhands at first, but once she gained control of the rallies the tide turned completely.

However, Kenin had trouble finishing the contest off at 5-1 as Bogdan saved three match points to survive for another game, which the American then bagged with a forehand winner on her fourth match point.

The 21-year-old Kenin, whose best result at the French Open is reaching the fourth round last year, next faces either another Romanian, qualifier Irina Bara, or Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck.

"I knew I had to fight," said Kenin. "I couldn't find my rhythm at the beginning so I just kept fighting and it paid off."

Canadian teenager Fernandez reaches third round

Canadian 18-year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez reached the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time as she beat experienced Polona Hercog 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

Fernandez, the youngest woman left in the draw after an earlier defeat for Denmark’s Clara Tauson, was pegged back after winning a tight opener, but raced through the decider.

Giving nothing away, Fernandez’s accuracy was too much for Hercog, who took out her frustration on her racket midway through the deciding set and received a warning.

Fernandez is playing in only her third main draw at a Grand Slam. She lost in the first round at the Australian Open after coming through qualifying, and made the second round at the US Open. Thursday’s win takes her one step further.

Muguruza eases into French Open third round

Former champion Garbine Muguruza breezed into the French Open third round with a routine 6-3, 6-2 victory over Czech Kristyna Pliskova on Thursday.

It was a welcome stroll on court Suzanne Lenglen for 2016 winner Muguruza, who had fought for three hours in her opening match and needed just over an hour to see off Pliskova.

The Spanish 11th seed made only 13 unforced errors to set up a meeting with American Danielle Collins in the bottom part of the draw where Sofia Kenin is the highest seed -- fourth -- remaining.

After an early exchange of breaks, Muguruza took full advantage of Pliskova's poor serve - only 42% of first serves in - to bag the opening set.

Pliskova's service rate improved in the second set but Muguruza sprayed the court with winners, making sure there was no comeback for the world number 69.

Shapovalov suffers fifth set heartbreak against Carballes Baena

Canadian ninth seed Denis Shapovalov twice served for the match against Roberto Carballes Baena before losing 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 8-6 against the 101st-ranked Spaniard during an absorbing five-hour contest at the French Open on Thursday.

Shapovalov served at 5-4 and 6-5 in the deciding set but Carballes Baena levelled the match each time and then broke the Canadian's next service game again to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.

"It is a dream for me to win a match like this in this court and I think I tried to be very solid and focused on my game," the 27-year-old said in his on-court interview.

"Shapovalov serves very well, he's very aggressive but I think I played a very good match."

The 21-year-old Shapovalov had to script a comeback of sorts of his own to take the match to five sets.

In the first meeting between the two, Carballes Baena broke the Canadian's serve twice to take the opening set.

Shapovalov, considered one of the most talented young players on the men's circuit, left the court for a medical timeout before the eighth game of the second set for what appeared to be a groin issue.

He returned to take the second set, which saw the duo trade double breaks of serve, in a tiebreak but the injury seemed to continue to bother him in the third as his level dropped.

Carballes Baena, who has played 81 of his 110 tour-level matches on clay, dominated the set by winning four of the first five games and appeared to be heading to victory.

But the Canadian came roaring back in the fourth to level the match before suffering the final set heartbreak.

"For me it's just amazing. It's the first time that I won (against) a top-10 player, first time I'm in the third round in a Grand Slam and the first time that I won a match in the fifth set. So I can't be more happy," said Carballes Baena.

Shapovalov hit 65 winners but was undone by an enormous 106 unforced errors. The Spaniard managed 31 winners but kept the errors to 42.

Next up for Carballes Baena will be 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who beat Andrej Martin of Slovakia 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-1.

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