World number 227 adds Pliskova to French Open casualty list

Karolina Pliskova became the sixth top 10 women’s seed to exit the French Open on Thursday when she was knocked out by world number 227 Leolia Jeanjean.

Eighth-seeded Pliskova, last year’s Wimbledon runner-up and a semi-finalist in Paris in 2017, lost 6-2, 6-2 to the 26-year-old Frenchwoman who cut her teeth as a leading college player in the United States.

Former number one Pliskova joins fellow top 10 seeds, defending champion Barbora Krejcikova, Maria Sakkari, Ons Jabeur, Anett Kontaveit and former winner Garbine Muguruza in failing to get through to the third round.

Jeanjean is the lowest-ranked woman to beat a top 10 player at Roland Garros in 34 years.

Considered a future star at 12, she saw her career abruptly halted by injuries, including a triple dislocation of the knee.

She then left to study in the United States, only returning to top-level tennis at the end of 2020.

“I wanted to come back so as not to regret anything. I think I made the right choice,” she said.

Pliskova has made the second week at Roland Garros just once in 11 visits.

“My plan is to fly away,” said the Czech when asked about her immediate plans.

Jeanjean will next face Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu who was fortunate not to be defaulted in her 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-4 win over 30th-seed Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Begu, in frustration, bounced a racquet into the crowd which then hit a child who burst into tears.

The supervisor was called but the 31-year-old escaped with a warning.

World number three Paula Badosa overcame a scare to defeat 68th-ranked Kaja Juvan of Slovenia 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.

Spain’s Badosa, a quarter-finalist in 2021, recovered from a break down in the decider to set up a meeting with 29th seed Veronika Kudermetova for a spot in the last 16.

New York-born Badosa has endured a mediocre clay court season with a semi-final run in Stuttgart but early exits at the elite events in Madrid and Rome.

“That competitive streak that I had lost in recent weeks has come back,” she said.

Also going through was US 11th seed Jessica Pegula who needed eight match points to defeat Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.


– Swiatek eyes 30 in row –


In stark contrast to the women’s event, the top 10 men all made it through the first four days.

Daniil Medvedev, the second seed, had few problems in making the third round with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over Laslo Djere of Serbia.

Medvedev, who made the quarter-finals in 2021, goes on to face another Serb in Miomir Kecmanovic, the 28th seed, for a place in the last 16.

Djere hit 39 winners Thursday but was undone by 68 unforced errors as Medvedev completed victory in two hours 35 minutes.

“I think Laslo may have had an injury so he was making winners or making mistakes so I thought ‘OK, well, his pain could go away’,” said Medvedev.

Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, the runner-up to Novak Djokovic last year, had to come back from two sets down to defeat Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti in a first round tie which ended in the early hours of Wednesday.

The Greek faces Czech qualifier Zdenek Kolar, the world number 154 who won his first ever Grand Slam main draw match on Tuesday against French wildcard Lucas Pouille.

World number one Iga Swiatek can stretch her winning run to 30 matches by securing a place in the third round.

The Polish star is the overwhelming favourite to win a second Roland Garros title to add to her 2020 victory.

A win over Alison Riske of the United States will extend an undefeated streak which has guaranteed five successive titles.

In her opening round in Paris, Swiatek needed just 54 minutes to see off Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko for the loss of just two games.

She is unbeaten since February and has the longest winning streak on the WTA tour since Serena Williams won 34 matches in a row in 2013.

Swiatek has defeated Riske on both occasions they have met in Rome and Madrid on clay last year.

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