Former champion Ana Ivanovic has been sent crashing out of the French Open today as tournament favourites continue to crack in Paris.
The Serbian had looked good on the clay courts of Roland Garros but failed to get going in this third round encounter, as Czech ace Lucie Safarova won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.While Safarova had won the last four encounters against the Serb, it was Ivanovic who had sealed the win in their only prior clay court fixture – back in 2008 when she had gone on to take her one and only French Open title.One of the matches of the women’s tournament so far was shrouded in more drama as fifth seed Petra Kvitova was bested by Russia’s 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in a glorious slug-fest spanning more than three hours.An agonisingly close first set saw the Czech form player clinch a tie-break winner as she set her sights on a first French Open title.Calamity struck in the second, however, as Kvitova was forced to call a medical time-out when 2-1 and a break down to the Russian.She returned to the court soon after with a heavily strapped upper-right leg, but her restricted movement led to a flow of errors as Kuznetsova began to dominate proceedings.The Russian took the second set 6-1 and was left waiting in the third as her opponent took a second off-court medical time-out.Rejuvenated and revitalised, the pre-match favourite found her swing again in the final set as a more even encounter continued on Court Philippe Chatrier, but it was the 27th seed who would eventually run out winner as she
Romanian fourth seed Simona Halep continued to flourish in Paris as she stormed to a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Spain’s Maria Teresa Torro-Flor in just 61 minutes.Despite her first serve deserting her in the second set, Halep dominated the fixture as she booked a place in the fourth round against American Sloane Stephens it what will prove her toughest match yet.With the continued drama in the women’s draw, it was business as usual for world number one Rafael Nadal in the men’s competition as he progressed to the fourth round with a straight sets victory over Argentine Leonardo Mayer.In credit to Mayer, he became the first player of the tournament to take more than three games from the defending champion in a single set, however, it was not enough to cause an upset as he went down 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 to the Spaniard.Last year’s runner-up David Ferrer made it seven in seven against Italy’s Andreas Seppi as he emerged victorious despite a close second set.The Italian has a disastrous record against top 10 players having won just one of his last 50 encounters, with today doing nothing to buck the trend as the match finished 6-2, 7-6(2), 6-3 in favour of the Spaniard.
A bizarre third round fixture saw Gael Monfils beat Fabio Fognini in a gruelling five-setter with the players recording 137 unforced errors between them ©Getty Images
One of the most bizarre and entertaining matches of the tournament came when French hopeful Gael Monfils took on Italian Fabio Fognini.What the long five-setter lacked in quality, it surely made up for in sheer spectacle as the pair appeared to both combust and explode in equal measure throughout the match.After losing a close first set, Monfils came alive in the second and third, taking a 2-1 lead and looking on course to a relatively comfortable victory.The Frenchmen fell apart in the fourth, however, wining just six point as he fell to nil against the Italian.He seemed unphased by this total lack of control coming into the final set though, as he stormed to a 6-2 victory and sealed a place in the next round.Action continues at Roland Garros tomorrow as Great Britain’s Andy Murray finishes his suspended game against German Philipp Kohlschreiber with the pair tied at 7-7 in the final set.Swiss Roger Federer, John Isner of the United States and Maria Sharapova of Russia also take to the court, with the much anticipated encounter between Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and France’s Jo-Wilfred Tsonga set to get underway.