Second seed Karolina Pliskova was shown the exit on Thursday in Paris by 2017 titleholder Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 6-2 as the Latvian rediscovered her past form on the clay.

Ostapenka is in the middle of a tennis rebirth at Roland Garros after arriving at this delayed COVID edition having not won a match here after her winning final three years ago over Simona Halep.

But the Latvian ranked 43rd proved the doubters wrong as she crushed her Czech opponent in 69 minutes.

“I was playing good today. I knew it was going to be a tough match, so I was trying to be very focused,” the winner said.

Karolina Pliskova. Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd/Alamy Live News

“I tried to keep the ball in play and make sure I’m not missing and making too many unforced errors.

“When I had a chance I went for it.”

Pliskova had little explanation about what went wrong for her:

“I know that she can be tough if she’s playing well, but I think everything started with me.

“Definitely I was not playing great, I don’t have much to say about this match.”

Sofia Kenin. Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd/Alamy Live News

Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin needed four match points to hold off Romanian Ana Bogdan with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback.

The US No. 1 was frustrated in the penultimate game when her 93rd-ranked opponent saved three match points.

But Kenin advanced to the third round on her fourth try a game later with a precise forehand winner on the sideline.

“The first set just didn’t go my way, I couldn’t find my rhythm,” Kenin said. “She was playing really well.

“I knew I needed to somehow change my game or else I’m going to be out. Did not want that, definitely

“I felt like I was putting more balls in during the second and third sets, playing more aggressive, playing the way I wanted to play.

“She was playing really well and I knew I needed to just fight in order to win.”

Petra Kvitova. Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd/Alamy Live News

Czech Petra Kvitova, seeded seventh, won her 25th title at Roland Garros, defeating Italy’s Jasmine Paolini 6-3, 6-3.

Kvitova made the semi-finals here in 2012, her career best on the Paris clay; she won in 84 minutes over the WTA 94.

“Overall, I’m really happy how I handled it,” Kvitova said. “It wasn’t really easy.

“I was broken a few times, and I really had to put something else in those important points and really still be there mentally and be strong in those.”

Kvitova advanced with 32 winners and 10 of 13 at the net.

Eighth seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus put out Russian Daria Kasatkina 7-6(6), 6-0, levelling their series at one win each.

Ana Bogdan. Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd/Alamy Live News

The 90-minute win landed Sabalenka into the Paris third round for the first time.

Spain’s Paula Badosa, the No. 87, stunned 2018 semi-finalist Sloane Stephens, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, taking advantage of 36 unforced errors from the American who also won the 2017 US Open.

Badosa broke fresh ground in her Roland Garros main draw debut by getting to the third round in 100 minutes.

The 2015 junior titleholder here finished with 20 winners and 18 unforced errors, converting on five of 13 break chances.

Stephens, who once stood third on the WTA, has won 21 of her 23 previous second round matches at the majors. Badosa will next face Ostapenko.

Former Paris trophy holder Garbine Muguruza made quick work of Kristyna Pliskova, Karolina’s twin, advancing 6-3, 6-2.


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