Radwanska, Halep beaten

Agnieszka Radwanska (above) began her match against Tsvetana Pironkova on Sunday and was comfortably placed before play was halted because of rain but lost 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 yesterday.
Agnieszka Radwanska (above) began her match against Tsvetana Pironkova on Sunday and was comfortably placed before play was halted because of rain but lost 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 yesterday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS
Simona Halep (above), the 2014 finalist, was beaten 7-6 (7-0), 6-3 by Samantha Stosur.
Simona Halep (above), the 2014 finalist, was beaten 7-6 (7-0), 6-3 by Samantha Stosur.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

Injured second seed falls to Pironkova as Romanian goes down to Australia's Stosur

PARIS • Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska and former French Open finalist Simona Halep crashed out in the last 16 on another rain-hit day in the French Open at Roland Garros yesterday.

Radwanska appeared to be cruising into the quarter-finals of the tennis Grand Slam as she led unseeded Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 3-0 before play was suspended on Sunday, with the tournament then suffering its first washout in 16 years on Monday.

But the Polish second seed, who was hampered by a right wrist injury, dropped 10 straight games either side of another rain delay yesterday as world No. 102 Pironkova extended her best run in Paris with a 2-6, 6-3 , 6-3 win.

With misty rain falling over Court Suzanne Lenglen, Radwanska struggled to handle the heavy conditions and lost six games in a row to surrender the second set with a forehand error.

A further two hour 45 minute rain disruption failed to improve her mood or her fortunes as she fell 4-0 behind in the third set.

The 27-year-old, who called on the trainer to get treatment on her right hand midway through the decider, eventually halted Pironkova's run by breaking the Bulgarian in the fifth game.

THREE DAYS TO COMPLETE THE UPSET

It was very difficult with all the rain, we waited almost three days to finish the match. But I can't complain, it turned out great for me.

TSVETANA PIRONKOVA, who upset second seed Agnieszka Radwanska to reach the French Open women's singles quarter-finals.

But Radwanska could not avoid the embarrassment of being beaten by a player ranked outside the top 100 for the first time in more than seven years when she netted a forehand on Pironkova's second match point.

"It feels unbelievably great. I have no words right now, I'm so happy," said Pironkova, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist. "It was very difficult with all the rain, we waited almost three days to finish the match. But I can't complain, it turned out great for me."

Sixth seed Halep, beaten in the 2014 final by Maria Sharapova, suffered a 7-6 (7-0), 6-3 defeat by former US Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia.

In a match between two former Roland Garros finalists that spanned three days and was twice suspended due to rain, the 21st-seeded Australian overcame a slow start to beat Halep for the first time in five attempts and reach the last eight for the fourth time.

The contest was halted late on Sunday owing to rain, with Halep leading 5-3, the Romanian's steady pummelling of Stosur's weaker backhand flank having paid off in the seventh game when she took the Australian's serve on her third break point.

But Stosur, who lost the 2010 final in Paris to Italy's Francesca Schiavone, was much sharper when the players resumed today.

She consistently served around 20kmh faster than her opponent and peppered the lines on both sides of the court.

She won her serve to love and then broke Halep, whose play was littered with unforced errors as she struggled with the rain-sodden conditions, to square the match at 5-5 and, after two service holds, blitzing the tie-break 7-0.

Stosur broke again at the start of the second set and led 3-2 until play was suspended again when a steady drizzle turned heavier.

The Australian clinched a quarter-final berth courtesy of a second break.

Stosur will face Pironkova next, with the winner of that tie playing Spain's Garbine Muguruza or 108th-ranked American Shelby Rogers for a place in the final.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


FRENCH OPEN

Day 11: Singtel TV Ch114/115 & StarHub Ch208/209, 8pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2016, with the headline 'Radwanska, Halep beaten'. Print Edition | Subscribe