The Latest: 5 more seeds, including Halep, exit French Open
PARIS (AP) — The Latest from the French Open:
Five more seeded players have been sent packing on Day 4 at the French Open.
Four of them in the men’s draw — No. 19 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 24 Ernests Gulbis, No. 28 Fabio Fognini (28) and No. 32 Fernando Verdasco (32) — plus last year’s finalist Simona Halep.
In the biggest upset so far in Paris this year, the third-seeded Halep was beaten 7-5, 6-1 by Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, the former tennis prodigy who reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 1999.
Seventh-seeded Ana Ivanovic dropped her serve four times and had a lot of errors to make her life difficult, but she’s through to the third round at the French Open.
Ivanovic made 37 unforced errors before rallying past 103th-ranked Misaki Doi 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a nearly two-hour match.
The Serb, a champion in Paris in 2008, will be up against Donna Vekic of Croatia in the third round.
British qualifier Kyle Edmund has withdrawn from the French Open with what the tournament said is an abdominal injury, giving 29th-seeded Nick Kyrgios of Australia a free pass into the third round.
The 120th-ranked Edmund, who is 20, beat another qualifier, Stephane Robert, in the first round at Roland Garros. That was Edmund’s first career main-draw victory at any Grand Slam tournament.
Edmund and Kyrgios originally were scheduled to face each other Thursday.
In the third round, Kyrgios — who beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon last year and Roger Federer at Madrid this month — will face the winner of the match between No. 3 Andy Murray and Joao Sousa.
Damir Dzumhur, no titles, and Roger Federer, 17 Grand Slam titles, now have two things in common: They play each other in the French Open third round and share the same racket supplier.
The 88th-ranked Bosnian, a self-confessed fan of the Swiss, didn’t choose his work tool to copy Federer. Rather, he got a racket contract at age 12, and stuck with it.
Dzhumur defeated Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 for the chance to measure himself against his idol.
“Probably the dream of every player,” he said.
With big strokes of his big feet, Gael Monfils etched a smiley face into the red clay dust of the French Open center court to celebrate his second-round win.
Just imagine what the 13th seeded Monfils might draw if he becomes the first Frenchman in 32 years to win the whole thing. The mind boggles. The Mona Lisa, perhaps?
In five roller-coaster sets, as is his wont at the major where he’s had his most success, Monfils grappled, struggled, sweated and fought his way past Diego Schwartzman, punctuating the 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win with cries of “Allez!” and closing with an ace.
The partisan supporters on Court Philippe Chatrier lapped up the theater.
“You really pushed me,” a thankful Monfils told them afterward.
Next up: 23rd-ranked Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay in the third round.
But first “ice bath, massage,” Monfils said. “Don’t worry, I’ll be ready.”
Vive la France.
The home crowds are in high spirits, with victories for three French seeded players already and Gael Monfils, seeded 13th, now fighting a fifth set on a center court resounding with cheers.
Gilles Simon (12) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (14), on the men’s side, and the 29th-seeded woman, Alize Cornet, all sailed through to the third round in straight sets.
French wild card Nicolas Mahut also put out the 24th-seeded Ernests Gulbis and Benoit Paire delighted a boisterous crowd on Court 7 by brushing aside 28th-seeded Fabio Fognini.
Monfils lost the first and third sets but won the second and fourth against Diego Schwartzman. The crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier is getting its money’s worth.
Hold the phone.
Two years ago to the day, Sergiy Stakhovsky made an expensive mistake. The French Open fined the Ukrainian $2,000 for whipping out his cellphone during a match and snapping a photo of a mark left in the clay by a ball that was ruled out — but which he felt was in.
With that in mind, he offered some friendly advice Wednesday to Steve Johnson after losing to the 56th-ranked American.
During the second set, Stakhovsky hit a serve that Johnson was sure was long. The chair umpire ignored Johnson’s protestations.
Afterward, the two players spoke about it.
“I just kind of joked and said, ‘Oh, I should have pulled out my phone like you did a couple years ago,'” Johnson recounted. “He says, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s a couple thousand dollar mistake. I wouldn’t do that.'”
No selfie-seeker bothered Roger Federer this time.
French Open security guards who allowed a teenager to stroll onto court Sunday and grab Federer for cellphone photos did better for his second-round win Wednesday.
Consider the 2009 champion satisfied.
“Everybody is a little bit more alert. That was the only wish I had,” Federer said. “They don’t need to change anything, (like) we need to have fences and all that stuff. Not at all. Tennis is one of the most accessible sports out there, and we are unbelievably close with our fans. That’s what I love about it.”
“It was just more important that everybody was doing their job, taking it very seriously. … I felt that today,” he added. “Now we have just got to all keep it up for years to come. I know it’s a lot of work, but it was a good exercise, I think, for everybody.”
Au revoir, Simona Halep.
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.”
If the Fed says so, then it must be official: Rock ‘n’ roll ain’t noise pollution.
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.
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.
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 avoided the media, instead issuing a short statement.
It was Williams’ second opening defeat in three years at Roland Garros.
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