Barty, Bows Out Of French Open, Pliskova Upset; Serena v Collins Fri.
by Staff | June 3rd, 2021, 6:06 pm
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The women’s draw continues to lose top players. On Thursday, two more Top 10 seeds fell as Ash Barty had to retire with a hip injury and Karolina Pliskova was ousted in a mild upset by Sloane Stephens.

Barty, who had won her last eight matches at the French Open, was already under caution after her left hip flared up in the first round. Against Magda Linette today, the day off didn’t help much as the World No. 1 was limited in her movement and ultimately retired down 6-1, 2-2.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Bart said after. “We have had such a brilliant clay court season, and to kind of get a little bit unlucky with timing more than anything to have something kind of acute happen over the weekend and just kind of run out of time against the clock is disappointing. It won’t take away the brilliant three months that we have had, as much as it hurts right now.

“I just tried to give myself a chance, tried to give myself a chance and see how it felt. Obviously practicing we’ve had our restrictions and essentially tried to stay as fresh as possible and not aggravate it in any way, but in a match that’s unavoidable at times.

“It got worse today and it was becoming at the stage where it was unsafe. As hard as it is, it was kind of, yeah, had to be done.”

Barty will hope the new injury resolved itself before Wimbledon which starts at the end of this month.

“It’s disappointing but not panic stations in a way where we,” she said. “We know what’s going on. We just need time to manage it to get back on the court as quickly as we can.”

Karolina Pliskova also was sent home falling to former finalist Sloane Stephens 7-5, 6-1. The Czech had to play catch-up in the first down breaks at multiple points, then succumbed to Stephens who now leads in their series 4-1.

“Definitely a tough matchup today,” Pliskova said. “I thought she played great actually. I know she can play still no matter which ranking she is now. No matter which situation she is now I think she can still play great tennis.

“I knew it was going to be super difficult and dangerous. She played a final here. I think she likes the conditions here, so that’s quite obvious whoever saw the match.”

There were some good wins by the top names. Iga Swiatek kept her title defense rolling blowing past Rebecca Peterson 6-1, 6-1 for his 9th straight Roland Garros win (18 straight sets).

“The score says that it was pretty easy, and it wasn’t because she was playing really nice balls with good rhythm,” Swiatek said. “But actually, from the beginning, I felt like I had a good day today since I woke up, so I knew that, you know, I’m going to be in the right mood. I just kept that.”

Elina Svitolina quietly cruised past Ann Li 6-0, 6-4. Maria Sakkari, Barbora Krejcikova, Elise Mertens and Karolina Muchova also advanced.

While the Frenchwomen have been eliminated after Anett Kontaveit KOd Kiki Mladenovic, American hopes are on the rise as Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula, Sofia Kenin and Jen Brady all joined Stephens as winners on Friday.

Gauff will now meet Brady while Kenin clashes with Pegula on Saturday.

The U.S. has a huge showdown tomorrow as 3-time champion Serena Williams meets former collegiate start and Australian Open semifinalist Danielle Collins.

Former semifinalist Madison Keys meets 2-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka. Aryna Sabalenka and former finalist Marketa Vondrousova are also in action as the third round gets underway.


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