The top seeds continued to tumble out of the French Open. Saturday in Paris saw both world No. 1 Naomi Osaka and then Serena Williams both get sent out of the tournament.
All the close calls this week finally caught up to Osaka who was overwhelmed on Lenglen by doubles ace Katerenia Siniakova. The young Czech doubles champion tore through Osaka 6-4, 6-2 for the biggest win of her career.
“I had some matches on the biggest courts here in doubles,” Siniakova said. “So the atmosphere is much different than on a smaller court. So in this case, it helped me.
Osaka drops to 0-3 in the French Open third round and her 16-match win streak in Slams is over.
“I feel like saying that ‘I’m depressed’ is a very strong statement,” Osaka said. “Because I felt that way before, and it’s not as extreme as that. So I would just say I’m very disappointed in how I played, and I wish I could have done better… I think it’s a natural part of life, especially if you train super hard for moments like these, and then you don’t perform how you want to.”
Later, Serena Williams suffered yet another shocker. Looking slow and far from her best, Serena succumbed to fellow American Sofia Kenin 6-2, 7-5 for her earliest exit at a Slam in almost five years.
“I think she played really well,” said Serena. “I feel like she, in that first set in particular, she hit pretty much inches from the line, and I haven’t played anyone like that in a long time. So, yeah, she actually played really well.
“I am glad I came,” she added. “You know, I love the city, and I love the tournament. I really wanted to be here. So I’m glad I came, at the end of the day. It’s just been a really grueling season for me.”
The 20-year-old Kenin, who was born in Russia, has now won 11 of her last 13 against American foes on tour.
She’ll now face Ash Barty who is having her best French Open. The Aussie reached her third straight Slam fourth round coasting past Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 6-1.
Finding her range, defending champion Simona Halep won her 10th straight match at the French Open blasting No. 27 seed Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 6-1.
Halep on Monday will face new star Iga Swiatek. The Polish teen who just turned 18 Friday, came from a set down to deny gold medalist Monica Puig 0-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Swiatek won’t be the only 18-year-old in the final 16. American teen Amanda Anisimova continued her French debut hanging on to beat Irina-Camelia Begu 7-6, 6-4 to advance. A great draw for her awaits in qualifier Aliona Bolsova who was a winner over Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Madison Keys also advanced in three sets.
Sunday, the fourth round begins with a mouth-watering showdown between 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza and 2018 finalist Sloane Stephens. Muguruza has cruised since dropping her opening set of the event to Taylor Townsend.
Johanna Konta clashes with Donna Vekic, Petra Martic meets Kaia Kanepi and US Open semifinalist Anastasija Sevastova battles teen Marketa Vondrousova.
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