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Anna Karolina Schmiedlova upsets Azarenka; Rafael Nadal cruises

Victoria Azarenka’s unhappy French Open campaign ended on Wednesday as the former world number one was beaten

Rafael Nadal

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  1 Oct 2020 4:07 AM GMT

PARIS: Victoria Azarenka's unhappy French Open campaign ended on Wednesday as the former world number one was beaten 6-2, 6-2 by Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the second round.

The Belarussian 10th seed, who was criticised for moaning about the cold and damp conditions in her opening round win, capitulated in feeble fashion against her 161st-ranked opponent.

Her defeat continued an exodus of leading seeds with Johanna Konta (9), Madison Keys (12), last year's runner-up Marketa Vondrousova (15) and another former world number one Angelique Kerber (18) having already been beaten while sixth seed Serena Williams withdrew on Wednesday with an Achilles injury.

Azarenka's defeat means that none of the women's semi-finalists at this month's U.S. Open are left in the draw here, although winner Naomi Osaka did not travel to France.

Simona Halep books a spot in round three by beating Irina Begu 6-3, 6-4 today. "It's been a tough match," she says after the victory.

In the men's singles category Rafael Nadal continued his quest for a record-extending 13th French Open title with a 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 crushing of American Mackenzie McDonald to advance into the third round. The Spanish second seed, also looking to equal Roger Federer's men's record of 20 singles Grand Slam titles, was never bothered on court Philippe Chatrier.

The claycourt master played deep, using his forehand to devastating effect to set up a meeting with Japanese Kei Nishikori or Italian Stefano Travaglia.

"My objective is to play as well as I can. It was a good match for me today. I'm very happy," said Nadal.

World number three Dominic Thiem survived a third set wobble and had to save three set points to beat American Jack Sock in straight sets and book his French Open third round spot.

US Open winner Thiem needed just 25 minutes to break Sock three times and storm through the first set 6-1.

The third-seed, beaten by 19-times Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the last two finals in Paris, was brimming with confidence after winning his first major at the US Open earlier this month.

Sock, whose injury-hit 2019 saw him tumble down the rankings to his current 310, tried to mix it up in the second set, hitting several superb drop shots to make it more of a battle.

But he was ultimately helpless against Thiem's baseline power and far superior fitness, losing the second 6-3.

Thiem, however, lost his focus in the third, was broken twice and spilled more than twice as many unforced errors than in the two previous sets combined, allowing Sock two breaks to lead 5-4 and 6-5.

The Austrian, trailing 6-3 in the tiebreak, saved three set points and finished the game seconds later with the first chance. (Agencies)

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