Day 4 of the 2015 French Open witnessed a major upset as the women’s third seed Simona Halep tumbled out in the second round. The 2014 Roland Garros runner-up lost 5-7, 1-6 to an inspired Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia.
Meanwhile, the defending women’s champion Maria Sharapova had a hassle-free win to enter the third round on Wednesday. Former winner Ana Ivanovic dropped a set in her second round victory.
In the men’s section, 2009 champion Roger Federer and fifth seed Kei Nishikori progressed into the third round with straight-set wins while Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych were stretched to four sets.
Simona Halep falls
Throughout the clay season, Simona Halep’s performances lacked consistency and never managed to reach the high standard she had set during the hardourt season. On Wednesday, it turned for the worse as world no. 70 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni bundled her out of the French Open with a 7-5, 6-1 scoreline. This is the Croat’s second straight victory over the Romanian after sending her out of the US Open last year.
A disappointed Halep said:
“I couldn’t feel that I’m prepared 100% to play on clay court, but I have to accept this. I have to take day by day. I worked a lot, maybe too much. That’s why I couldn’t play. I couldn’t feel the game.”
Maria Sharapova cruises; to meet Stosur next
Two-time champion Maria Sharapova was on fire on Wednesday. The second seed rolled past fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko 6-3, 6-1 to set up a mouth-watering contest versus former runner-up Samantha Stosur. The Australian was very impressive on Day 4 as she routed French wildcard Amandine Hesse 6-0, 6-1.
Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori win
Second-seeded Roger Federer was a break down in each of the second and third sets but managed to regroup to post a 6-2, 7-6(1), 6-3 triumph over Spaniard Marcel Granollers. The Swiss maestro hit 38 winners during the contest.
Fifth seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori had a tough proposition in the second round as he was facing an experienced claycourter who had come to Paris right after winning a title. However, Nishikori managed to pass the test with flying colours as he beat Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.
Other big names who won on French Open Day 4:
2008 champion Ana Ivanovic bounced back to beat Japanese Misaki Doi 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The in-form duo of Carla Suarez Navarro and Angelique Kerber too made their way into the third round. Garbine Muguruza, Sabine Lisicki and Lucie Safarova also emerged victorious on Day 4.
In the men’s section, fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych defeated his Davis Cup teammate Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-3. This was Berdych’s 10th consecutive win against fellow Czechs.
Eighth-seeded Stan Wawrinka also secured a berth in the third round with a 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 win over Dusan Lajovic of Serbia.
Home hopes alive
Home hopes were kept alive by 29th seeded Alize Cornet who beat Alexandra Dulgheru 6-2, 7-5. In the men’s section, it was a good day for France as 12th seeded Gilles Simon and 14th seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga both advanced in straight sets.
Gael Monfils and five sets at Roland Garros are inseparable! The 13th seeded Frenchman delighted the home crowd with his 12th five-setter win at Roland Garros, thus equalling an Open Era record set by Yannick Noah and Marat Safin.
Nicolas Mahut too made it through to the third round by ousting a slumping Ernests Gulbis in four sets. Benoit Paire also caused an upset by toppling the 28th seed Fabio Fognini in straight sets.
Indian trio wins
The Indian trio of Sania Mirza, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna began their French Open campaigns on a winning note. Partnering Martina Hingis, Sania Mirza entered the second round of women’s doubles.
In men’s doubles, both Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna won their respective first round matches. It was a special day for Leander as the evergreen tennis icon notched up the 700th doubles match win of his career.
Check match details here.
Stars to grace on Day 5:
Defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal will continue his quest for a tenth title while world no. 1 Novak Djokovic too will be in action. In women’s section, top seed Serena Williams and fourth seed Petra Kvitova will play their second round matches.