Tennis Article

Azarenka Knocked Out, Nadal Eases Into Third Round

Azarenka Knocked Out, Nadal Eases Into Third Round Photo: TT
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus hits a return during the women's singles second round match against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia at French Open

Last month’s US Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka was the big casualty on day three of the French Open while reigning men’s champion Rafael Nadal continued on his way towards a 13th title.

Belarussian world number 14 Azarenka lost 6-2, 6-2 to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in a surprise result where the protected ranking Slovakian dominated on serve and took four of her seven break points.

Only last month Azarenka’s comeback to the global tennis scene was marked by her reaching the US Open final, where she lost to Naomi Osaka after winning the first set.

Schmiedlova is a former top 30 player but she came into Roland Garros following 12 straight defeats, so her progress is somewhat of a surprise, particularly knocking off former world number one Azarenka.

“I felt like I was trying a lot, trying different things, but today things were not working,” Azarenka said.

Bulgarian wildcard Tsvetana Pironkova enjoyed progress into the third round with a walkover against Serena Williams who withdrew earlier in the day due to a recurrence of an Achilles injury.

Both top seed Simona Halep and third seed Elina Svitolina won their matches on Wednesday, although the latter dropped a set to love against Mexican qualifier Renata Zarazua in her victory.

In the men’s singles, hot favourite Nadal eased past American Mackenzie McDonald 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 following his straight sets first round win.

Sixth seed Alexander Zverev survived a five-set thriller against local Pierre-Hugues Herbert to progress, winning 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4.

US Open champion Dominic Thiem got past American qualifier Jack Sock in straight sets, while Stan Wawrinka won his second round match too.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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