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French Open loses last year’s runner-up, Halep

Latest Update: May 27, 2015 | 106 Views

Last year’s French Open runner-up is out, losing 7-5, 6-1 in the second round to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

The third-seeded Romanian, who lost to Maria Sharapova in last year’s final, seemed clueless in the lopsided second set.

This is her second loss to the 70th-ranked Lucic-Baroni. The Croatian also upset the Romanian at the U.S Open last year.

Lucic-Baroni hit an ace on match point and raised both arms in delight. She hit 29 winners, compared to just five for Halep.

“Incredible,” Lucic-Baroni said. “She’s just a great champion and I respect her so much.”

Her third-round opponent, France’s 29th-seeded Alize Cornet, will have the home crowd behind her. Cornet advanced 6-2, 7-5 against Alexandra Dulgheru, also of Romania.

“I wish at least three French people will cheer for me in that match,” Lucic-Baroni said.

Bonne chance with that.

Kei Nishikori, the last of five Japanese men who started the French Open, is in a hurry.

Last year’s U.S. Open runner-up, seeded fifth at the French, breezed through a second-round 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 victory in 2 hours, 22 minutes.

His opponent, 40th-ranked Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, did himself no favors by serving 10 double-faults.

Nishikori won in straight sets in the first round, too.

He next plays Benjamin Becker in the third round. The German lost his last two matches against the Japanese, in 2014. Becker advanced from the second round by putting out the 32nd seed, Fernando Verdasco, 6-4, 0-6, 1-6, 7-5, 10-8.

Roger Federer has twice seen AC/DC in concert. At the French Open, the hard rock group’s guitarist Angus Young came to see the tennis maestro strut his stuff.

“It’s a real pleasure to see him here at the tennis,” Federer said after his second-round win.

Young rose from his seat in the presidential box, acknowledging the crowd and the 17-time Grand Slam champion with a wave.

“I even met him once,” Federer noted. “I guess he still remembers. I had long hair. It was 15 years ago.”

Not something you see every day in tennis: normally composed Roger Federer losing his cool.

Something you see far more regularly: Federer winning, again.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion’s backhand gave him fits against second-round opponent Marcel Granollers at the French Open.

The 2009 champion screamed at himself after one in a series of flubbed backhands in the third set. After another, he retrieved his black French Open towel, covered his face to muffle the sound, and yelled at himself again.

But, like all three of their previous encounters, this match on Court Suzanne Lenglen ended with another Federer win. The score: 6-2, 7-6 (1), 6-3.

Even with a backhand not working like clockwork, still a good day at the office for the Swiss.

Serving badly but still winning, Stan Wawrinka is through to the third round with a 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 victory over 67th-ranked Dusan Lajovic.

Sweating heavily, the eighth-seeded Wawrinka puffed out his cheeks in relief as he went to the net for the post-match handshake and celebrated by tossing a towel into the crowd.

The 2014 Australian Open champion landed just 44 percent of his first serves. He squandered three match points in the eighth game of the fourth set, the last with a forehand sprayed wide. He then volleyed the next point into the net and served the last of nine double-faults to give the Serb that game.

But Roger Federer’s Davis Cup Swiss teammate broke Lajovic in the very next game to win the match.

Wawrinka’s third-round opponent is Steve Johnson. The 56th-ranked American beat Sergiy Stakhovsky 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6).

2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur is painfully aware that she’s going to have to raise her game to get past Maria Sharapova in the French Open third round. The 26th-seeded Australian has won just two of 16 previous encounters with the defending women’s champion, seeded second this year.

“She fights from the first point to the last point. Doesn’t give much away, and, you know, when her back is against the wall she keeps swinging and going forward,” Stosur said. “She can make that ball on the line and, then, all of a sudden get herself back into it. She’s one of those players that you have to go at the whole time and not let up.”

Their last meeting, in the fourth round of the French last year, ended with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 win for the Russian.

Maria Sharapova will say later whether she was hampered by her cold in her 6-3, 6-1 win over Vitalia Diatchenko, but it did not show on center court at the French Open.

The defending champion saved four of the five break points she faced against her Fed Cup teammate and limited her mistakes to eight unforced errors to set up a third-round meeting with 2010 runner-up Samantha Stosur.

In front of her home crowd, Amandine Hesse looked up to the sky and sighed in relief. Her forehand volley had just landed on the line, out of Samantha Stosur’s reach.

It was a crucial point for the wild card entry, a point that spared her the humiliation of bowing out of the French Open without winning a single game.

Hesse’s winner at the net earned the Frenchwoman her first game of the match after Stosur raced to a 6-0, 5-0 lead.

For Hesse, it was a short-lived relief though. Stosur, a finalist in Paris in 2010, wrapped up the match in the next game to advance to the third round with a 6-0, 6-1 win.

After finishing last season outside the top 20 for the first time since 2008, the 26th-seeded Stosur is enjoying a good spell of form, having won her first title this year in Strasbourg last week.

Maria Sharapova, the defending champion in Paris, is about to open play on center court against Vitalia Diatchenko in a second-round match.

It will be interesting to see if the second-seeded Russian has recovered from the cold that had her coughing during her opening win against Kaia Kanepi.

Also, watch for the fans’ reaction. Sharapova was booed as she left the court on Monday because she declined to do an on-court interview.

The good news for Sharapova and her sore throat comes from the weather, which should remain sunny, mild and dry the whole day.

Sharapova will be followed on the main stadium court by fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori, with No. 2 seed Roger Federer scheduled to play on Court Suzanne Lenglen against Marcel Granollers.

Venus Williams has been handed a $3,000 fine by tournament organizers for not showing up at a news conference following her first-round exit at the French Open.

After the 15th-seeded Williams lost 7-6 (5), 6-1 to Sloane Stephens on Monday, she snubbed the media, instead issuing a short statement.

It was Williams’ second opening defeat in three years at Roland Garros.


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