Sharapova sent packing
Defending champion Maria Sharapova was sent packing from the French Open at the fourth-round stage on Monday, losing in straight sets to Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic.
While in another match defending champion Rafael Nadal beat Jack Sock 6-3, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 in round 4.
Safarova, the 13th seed, won 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 to progress to a first ever quarter-final at Roland Garros, where she will face <g data-gr-id="41">Garbine</g> Muguruza after the Spaniard saw off Flavia Pennetta.
Sharapova, who also won the clay-court Grand Slam event in 2012 and was the beaten finalist in 2013, had been forced to wait until Monday morning for her clash with Safarova, which had been postponed on Sunday due to the rain in the French capital.
But on a bright Paris morning the Russian second seed, who was looking to become the first woman to successfully defend the French Open title since Justine Henin in 2007, was punished for an erratic display from beginning to end.
Sharapova was broken in her second service game, and although she soon broke back, Safarova claimed the opening set in the tiebreak on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Breaks were again exchanged in the second set but Sharapova found herself serving to stay in the match at 5-4 down, and while she saved one match point she could not save the second that came her opponent’s way.
“I had a few small <g data-gr-id="36">openings</g> but I wasn’t able to keep up my level. She was more consistent and aggressive, created the angles and that was the difference,” said Sharapova who had been battling a heavy cold all week. “It was a tough day at the office.”
The Czech had not won any of her last four meetings with Sharapova since triumphing in their first ever clash in Madrid in 2010 and will now face Muguruza on Tuesday after the Spanish 21st seed breezed past Pennetta.
Junior Indians had a good day at office in French Open
Junior Indian tennis players crossed the first-round hurdle comfortably in the French Open after winning their respective matches in boys’ singles and girls’ doubles events respectively here on Monday.
Sumit <g data-gr-id="76">Nagal</g> entered the second round of the boys’ singles after getting the better of Yosuke Watanuki of Japan in straight sets, while Pranjala <g data-gr-id="77">Yadlapalli</g> along with her Chinese partner Wushuang Zheng also had an easy outing in the opening round of the girls’ doubles event. The 17-year-old Indian put up an impressive show, beating his Japanese rival 6-3 7-5. He converted five of the seven <g data-gr-id="78">breakpoints</g> that he <g data-gr-id="69">got,</g> while managed to save as many as 12 breakpoints of his opponent.
<g data-gr-id="71">Nagal</g> will now take on <g data-gr-id="73">eighth seeded</g> <g data-gr-id="72">Yunseong</g> Chung of Korea in round two. Meanwhile, Pranjala and Zheng outplayed French duo of Cindy Castille and Carla <g data-gr-id="74">Hassaine</g> 6-0 6-1. The <g data-gr-id="75">seventh seeded</g> Sino-Indian pair completely dominated the proceedings as they won a total of 51 points as against just 16 by their opponents.