Thursday, October 1, 2020

Stephens, second-seeded Pliskova exit early in Paris

Jelena Ostapenko, who won the 2017 French Open at 20,
beat second-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-2 today in the
second round at Roland Garros. 2016 photo by Paul Bauman
   Sloane Stephens' tailspin continued today with her earliest loss in the French Open since 2011.
   Stephens, the 29th seed and 2018 runner-up, fell to 87th-ranked Paula Badosa of Spain 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the second round in Paris. 
   Stephens, a 27-year-old Fresno, Calif., product now based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., made her earliest exit from Roland Garros since losing in the first round in her tournament debut and fell to 4-11 this year. The 2017 U.S. Open champion has not reached a quarterfinal since last year's French Open in June.
   Ranked a career-high No. 3 in 2018, Stephens is projected to drop four spots to No. 38 after Roland Garros.
   Badosa, who won the 2015 French Open girls singles title, reached the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. The 22-year-old New York native is scheduled to play unseeded Jelena Ostapenko, the women's singles champion at Roland Garros in 2017 at 20, on Saturday. 
   Ostapenko, a 23-year-old Latvian, ousted second-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-2 in 69 minutes. 
   Pliskova, formerly ranked No. 1, also lost in the second round of the U.S. Open last month. The runner-up in the 2015 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, she retired from the Italian Open final two weeks ago with a left thigh injury.
   After two rounds of the French Open, only three U.S. women — fourth-seeded Sofia Kenin, 25th-seeded Amanda Anisimova and unseeded Danielle Collins — remain in singles.
   In the men's draw, top-ranked Novak Djokovic routed Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in 1 hour, 23 minutes to improve to 33-1 in 2020. Djokovic was defaulted from the U.S. Open for accidentally hitting a line judge in the throat with a ball. 
   Djokovic, who won the 2016 French Open to complete a career Grand Slam, has lost only 10 games in two matches in this year's tournament. 
   Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain topped ninth-seeded Denis Shapovalov, a 21-year-old Canadian, 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 8-6 in 5 hours. Shapovalov, who reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal in the U.S. Open, served for today's match at 5-4 and 6-5 in the fifth set.
   The 27-year-old Carballes Baena, ranked No. 101, beat a top-10 player, advanced to the third round of a major and won a five-set match for the first time.
   The only American men left in singles are 27th-seeded Taylor Fritz and 20-year-old qualifier Sebastian Korda, the son of 1998 Australian Open champion Petr Korda of the Czech Republic.
   In the first round of women's doubles, seventh-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan crushed Bernarda Pera, a Croatia-born American, and Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic 6-0, 6-1 in 43 minutes. Shibahara, 22, was born in Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area and starred at UCLA.
  Former USC teammates Kaitlin Christian, from Orange, Calif., and Giuliana Olmos, a Bay Area product who plays for Mexico, defeated Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia and Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine 6-3, 6-2.
   Top-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic eliminated Maria Sanchez, a 30-year-old Modesto, Calif., product now based in Los Angeles, and Astra Sharma of Australia 6-1, 6-4.

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