The women’s tour made another unscheduled stop in Upset Town on Friday when a former Slam champ and two Top 20 seeds were beaten in third-round action at the French Open.
Unseeded American Shelby Rogers toppled sleep-deprived No. 10 seed Petra Kvitova by the lopsided score of 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-0.
“I felt just weird. I didn’t really sleep last night and it’s just difficult day today,” Kvitova said. “I was feeling very tired and my legs were very heavy. Nothing really worked today. It’s one of my worst losses in a grand slam.”
Rogers broke into tears upon clinching match point and hugging her parents and posse in the player’s box.
“There was a lot of noise and a lot of applause, and a lot of emotions taking over. I immediately started crying, and it was a very incredible moment,” said Rogers, who credited her older sister Sabra, a psychologist, who played tennis. “I wanted to be like her, followed her into the sport. I owe her a lot, definitely. She keeps me sane.”
Next for Rogers is No. 25 Irina Begu, who defeated Germany’s Annika Beck 6-4, 2-6, 6-1.
Also with upsets were Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova beating a lack-luster No. 19 Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-1, and in a battle of former finalists No. 21 Sam Stosur ousting No. 11 Lucie Safarova in a marathon 6-3, 6-7(0), 7-5.
“I feel like today was a really good step up again in level. That’s probably as good as I have played here for many years,” said Stosur, who will next face No. 6 Simona Halep, who on Friday was a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 winner over Japan’s Naomi Osaka. Stosur only won two games off Halep weeks ago in Madrid. “I’m not going to think too much about that, why I fell apart, I’m not going to lose too much sleep over that match.”
Pironkova will next meet No. 2 Aggie Radwanska, who had to work to defeat No. 30 Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-2.
No. 4 Garbine Muguruza and No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova also set up a fourth round meeting after the Spaniard rolled Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 6-0, and the Russian likewise had an easy time with countrywoman and No. 24 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 6-4.
Saturday’s highlights at Roland Garros include (1) Serena Williams vs. (26) Kristina Mladenovic, (9) Venus Williams vs. Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, (15) Madison Keys vs. Monica Puig, (29) Daria Kasatkina vs. the hot-handed Kiki Bertens, and (12) Carla Suarez-Navarro vs. (22) Dominika Cibulkova.
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