Simon Halep was the only one to stay true to her rankings as all the other 5 of top 6 have been shown the door early in French Open on Saturday One of the bigger exits was of the celebrated Serena who failed to qualify in top 16 the first time since 2014.
French Open 2019: Williams fails to progress
Williams and Osaka joined Wozniake, Kerber and Venus Williams to suffer upsets and early exits. Serena, who looked rusty in her first match didn’t look at her best clearly set back by lack of match practice. Injuries have forced her to just 5 matches this year.
With the 6-2, 7-5 defeat in consecutive sets, hopes of a record-equalling 24th title was also put on hold. Williams failed to pull one back against Sofia Kenin who was spot on amidst Serena’s mistakes.
The 10th seeded Williams left through a standing ovation at the Court Philippe Chatrier as her fans still wait for her 24th major.
Osaka, expected to be as tough a competitor too faced an early exit at the hands of Katerina Siniakova. With the exit of both Williams and Osaka, Halep can have a breather at the semifinals in French Open 2019.
This defeat also snapped Osaka’s 16 match Grand Slam streak winning US Open and this year’s Australian Open. The defeat was a lopsided one with the top-seeded Osaka losing embarrassingly 6-4, 6-2.
Halep is trying to be the first woman since 2007 to defend the Suzan Lenglin Cup and would be buoyed by the star exits. She would still be wary of the stiff competition to come but expect her to hold her nerves better than newbies.
Sanity restore with Djokovic’s qualification
Novak Djokovic finally did the expected and earned an easy 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 victory on Salvatore Caruso.
In another turn of dramatic events, Alexander Zverev won yet another 5 setter. The German 5th rank defeated Serbian Dusan Lojovic 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 1-6, 6-2 in a humdinger.
9th seeded Italian Fabio Fognini (Monte Carlos Winner) defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(5) 6-4 4-6 6-1. He would meet Zverev next round.
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