World No. 1 Osaka’s Paris dream shattered by Siniakova

Agence France-Presse
World No. 1 Osaka’s Paris dream shattered by Siniakova


Naomi Osaka crashes out of Roland Garros as Novak Djokovic cruises into the fourth round




PARIS, France  – World No. 1 Naomi Osaka’s hopes of winning a third successive Grand Slam ended Saturday, June 1, when she was knocked out of the French Open in the third round by unheralded Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic.

Japanese top seed Osaka, the reigning US and Australian Open champion, crashed to a 6-4, 6-2 defeat to the 42nd-ranked Czech.

Osaka was undone by a shocking 38 unforced errors as she finally ran out of luck in Paris having had to come back from a set down in her first two matches.

“It’s amazing, I can’t believe it, I am so happy now,” said Siniakova, who was the women’s doubles champion in Paris in 2018 alongside Barbora Krejcikova.

“I played my best tennis and I hope it continues.”

Osaka dropped the 1st set for the third successive match at the tournament, squandering 7 break points in all.

Siniakova made her pay, breaking for 5-4 and taking the opener when Osaka sent back her 16th unforced error of the set.

The Czech, who is the world’s No. 1 doubles player, kept up the pressure on the misfiring top seed, breaking for a 3-2 lead in the second set.

Siniakova backed it up with another break for 5-2 off Osaka’s third double fault of the match.

Victory was hers on Court Suzanne Lenglen when Osaka unleashed another misguided forehand.

The Czech goes on to face Madison Keys of the United States for a place in the quarterfinals in what will be her first appearance in the last 16 of the majors.

Despite being seeded top for the first time at a Slam, the 21-year-old Osaka had never looked convincing in Paris.

She was two points away from defeat in the first round against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and came back from a set and break down to see off Victoria Azarenka in round two.

Djokovic on track 

There were no such problems for men’s world No. 1 one Novak Djokovic who eased into the last 16, stepping up his bid to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously for the second time.

The Serbian saw off unseeded Italian Salvatore Caruso 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 to set up a fourth-round tie with either Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff or Croatian 13th seed Borna Coric.

“Finally, I think I found my best form in the 2nd set,” said Djokovic, who is yet to drop a set in the tournament.

It is the 10th successive year the top seed has reached the second week – and 13th in total – as he looks for a second French Open title after sealing his first ‘Djoko’ Slam in Paris in 2016.

German 5th seed Alexander Zverev needed another five-setter to reach the fourth round, defeating Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 1-6, 6-2.

Zverev, whose best run at a Slam came in Paris last year when he made the quarterfinals, will face Italy’s Fabio Fognini for a place in the last-eight.

Fognini needed 4 sets to defeat Spanish 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

Greek breakthrough for Tsitsipas

Crowd favorite Stefanos Tsitsipas became the first Greek player in 83 years to reach the second week at Roland Garros as he survived a scare against Filip Krajinovic.

The 6th seed led by two sets when the match was suspended at 5-5 in the third due to darkness just before 10 pm on Friday.

On the resumption Saturday, Tsitsipas lost the set in a tiebreak but sealed a 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (8/6) success on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The 20-year-old will take on former champion Stan Wawrinka for a place in his second Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Wawrinka, the 2015 champion and a three-time major winner, recorded his 500th match win with a 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (10/8) win over Grigor Dimitrov.

As temperatures nudged close to the 30-degree mark, Halep decided not to hang around.

The Romanian 3rd seed stormed to a 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of Ukrainian 27th seed Lesia Tsurenko.

Halep next faces either Olympic champion Monica Puig or Polish teenager Iga Swiatek.

Williams is bidding to reach the second week for the 13th time as she continues her pursuit of equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

The 37-year-old faces fellow American Sofia Kenin, who wasn’t born when Williams made her debut in Paris in 1998. –


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