French Open: Second seed Pliskova sent packing by in-form Martic

Petra Martic claimed the biggest win of her career by beating world number two Karolina Pliskova at the French Open.

Published : May 31, 2019 18:19 IST

Second seed Karolina Pliskova was knocked out of the French Open on Friday after a 6-3, 6-3 defeat by Croatia's Petra Martic.

Czech Pliskova produced an error-strewn display against the 31st seed, who will face either Russian Veronika Kudermetova or Estonia's Kaia Kanepi for a place in the quarterfinals. Her defeat means Naomi Osaka will retain the world number one spot after Roland Garros.

Martic has now won 14 matches on clay this season, more than any other player on the WTA Tour.

“I think the court is pretty slow, so you just have to play some extra shots,” said Pliskova. “The centre court, I played twice, and twice it was slow,” she added.

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Former world number one Pliskova remains without a Grand Slam title in her career, despite arriving in Paris with high hopes after powering her way to Italian Open triumph in Rome.

The game which saw her broken to fall 5-3 behind in the second set encapsulated an erratic display -- as she served two double faults, missed perhaps the easiest volley seen on the newly-rebuilt Court Philippe Chatrier, and capped it off by drilling the simplest of forehands several feet past the baseline.

Pliskova finished with 28 unforced errors in total, against only 23 winners, while Martic sealed victory with an ace.

The 28-year-old Martic put in a solid performance and is rewarded with a fourth-round tie against an unseeded player as she bids to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

- Muguruza advances -

Garbine Muguruza, the 2016 champion, made short work of Ukrainian Elina Svitolina as the ninth seed's disappointing clay season ended on a low note. Spanish 19th seed Muguruza eased to a 6-3, 6-3 victory on Chatrier to reach the fourth round for the sixth successive year and set up a tie with either last year's runner-up Sloane Stephens or Slovenian Polona Hercog.

Elsewhere in the women's third round, Anastasija Sevastova saved five match points in an epic clash to beat Elise Mertens 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 11-9.

The Latvian 12th seed will take on impressive Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in the fourth round, after the 19-year-old saw off Spanish 28th seed Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 6-4.

- Konta first British woman in Roland Garros 4th round in 36 years -

Johanna Konta became the first British woman in 36 years to reach the fourth round of the French Open when she defeated Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova 6-2, 6-1 on Friday.

The 26th seed will face 23rd-seeded Donna Vekic of Croatia for a quarterfinal spot.

Anne Hobbs and Jo Durie where the last British women to get to the last 16 in Paris in 1983 with Durie going on to reach the semifinals.

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