Taiwan’s Chan Jung-yan and her younger sister, Chan Hao-ching, cruised into the third round of the French Open women’s doubles at Roland Garros in Paris yesterday, defeating South Africa’s Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4.
The Taiwanese won 66 percent of points on their first serve, compared with their opponents’ 47 percent, even though Grandin and Uhlirova’s average first-serve speed was 12kph higher.
Grandin and Uhlirova served up three double faults and three unforced errors, while the Taiwanese pair managed an ace in the victory that saw them book a third-round match with either Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia and Zheng Saisai of China or Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia, who were scheduled to play their second-round match later yesterday.
In the women’s singles, two days after eliminating Venus Williams, third seed Agnieszka Radwanska was routed in the third round.
The 23-year-old Pole lost to 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1, 6-2, and did not look anything like the player who overwhelmed seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams in straight sets on Wednesday.
Radwanska has been having a stellar year on the WTA Tour, winning three titles and moving up to a career-high world No. 3 ranking last month, but she is the only player in the top 10 who has never reached a Grand Slam semi-final.
However, against Kuznetsova Radwanska has struggled. She is now 3-10 against the Russian, including her only two losses in tournament finals.
Before yesterday’s match, Radwanska had been 38-7 this year, with six of those losses coming against top-ranked Victoria Azarenka.
Kuznetsova, who also won the US Open in 2004, has struggled since winning the title at Roland Garros three years ago, only reaching one Grand Slam quarter-final.
In the second round, Maria Sharapova advanced with another easy victory.
Three days after scoring a “double bagel” in the first round, the second-seeded Sharapova defeated Ayumi Morita of Japan 6-1, 6-1.
Sharapova has won three major titles in her career, but she still needs to win at Roland Garros to complete a career Grand Slam.
Last year, she lost in the semi-finals at the French Open.
Also in the third round, 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic lost to Sara Errani of Italy 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.
The 13th-seeded Ivanovic, a former world No. 1, committed 37 of her 40 unforced errors in the final two sets. Errani had only 18.
“In the third set, I was creating a lot of opportunities and missing a lot of easy, easy finishing balls,” Ivanovic said. “That’s something that I’m not really happy about.”
For Errani, it was only the second time in 39 matches that she has beaten a player ranked in the top 15.
Teen Sloane Stephens of the US also advanced to the fourth round, beating Mathilde Johansson of France 6-3, 6-2. Of the eight teenagers in this year’s draw, the 19-year-old Stephens was the only one to even reach the third round.
“I’m excited because now I’m going to have more Twitter followers,” Stephens said.
Thursday saw John Isner — Marathon Man of Tennis — play and play and play, for hours on end, until the last set seemed interminable.
At Wimbledon two years ago, he won 70-68 in the fifth, the longest set and match in tennis history. At Roland Garros on Thursday, as afternoon gave way to evening, the 10th-seeded American lost 7-6 (7/2), 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 18-16 to Paul-Henri Mathieu of France in the second round, a five hour, 41 minute test of stamina and attention span.