Radwanska Latest Casualty In Paris
May 30, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
PARIS, France - The upsets at this most unpredictable of French Opens continued on Friday as an inspired Ajla Tomljanovic bundled out No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-4, 6-4, in the third round.
Radwanska had never been beyond the quarterfinals in Paris, but had seen the draw open up invitingly following the surprise exits of Serena Williams and Li Na. Tomljanovic, meanwhile, was appearing in the third round of a major for the first time following victories over former champion Francesca Schiavone and No.32 seed Elena Vesnina.
The Turning Point
Before the start of the tournament, Tomljanovic had only beaten one Top 30 player, but for long spells she outhit and, more surprisingly, outthought, her higher-ranked opponent. Her purposeful groundstrokes, complemented by more than a few Radwanska-esque touches, helped build a 5-1 lead and despite a late wobble she eventually closed out the first set.
Radwanska was broken again at the start of the second and saw a chance to break back pass her by in the eighth game as Tomljanovic calmly punched away a volley. This would be as close as she would come and a few games later the Croat served out for a place in the fourth round.
By The Numbers
Usually so frugal with her unforced error count, Radwanska was particularly generous against Tomljanovic, coughing up 22 to just 12 winners. Tomljanovic's victory also means that for the first time in the Open Era the Top 3 seeds have all lost before the fourth round in a major.
"After seeing, you know, the two first seeds go out, you kind of feel like I can do this, too," Tomljanovic said. "I grew up with these girls that are beating them. I went out there and I really thought I could win. I think that showed and it is why I got over the line."
Tomljanovic's reward is a meeting with one of the WTA's leading clay court players, Carla Suárez Navarro, who ended Taylor Townsend's run with a brisk, 6-2, 6-2 win on Court 1.