Women's draw wide open after World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki crashes out of French Open

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The women's draw at the French Open was blown wide open today with defeats for world number one Caroline Wozniacki and last year's runner-up Samantha Stosur.

After Kim Clijsters' exit yesterday, Wozniacki's 6-1 6-3 thrashing by Daniela Hantuchova means it is the first time since 1971 that the top two seeds at Roland Garros have gone out before the fourth round in the women's singles.

As well as Hantuchova played, for once holding her nerve to close out a big match, it was a shocking performance from the Dane, who did not hit a single winner in the first set.

Wozniacki, whose only appearance in a grand slam final came at the US Open in 2009, has now spent 32 weeks as world number one and is guaranteed to hang onto that position whatever happens in Paris.

The 20-year-old's schedule has also been questioned, with Wozniacki choosing to play in Brussels - a tournament she won - the week before the French Open, but she again shrugged off both issues.

Asked about the continued focus on the fact she has not won a grand slam, Wozniacki said: "It really doesn't matter. I know what I'm capable of and I know I'm a great player. I'm doing well. I'm happy about my schedule and I'm feeling fine.

"Tennis is a sport where only one can win. You cannot go off the court and both of the players are happy. There's a lot of great players out there. Kim had a tough loss yesterday and I had a tough loss today. That's what happens.

"Since we're number one and two, it means that we must be doing something right. It's just unfortunate to lose in a grand slam."

Wozniacki praised the performance of Hantuchova, who hit 26 winners to her opponent's eight, saying: "She played very, very well today, better than me for sure. She knew what she was going to go out there and do. She was just too good."

Hantuchova hailed the victory as one of her best and is confident she is now finally ready to realise her undoubted potential on the biggest stage.

The 28-year-old said: "I like to consider myself as one of those players to have a good chance. I have to say today was probably one of my best matches.

"It's more about how I feel in practice, and I have to say I have been feeling very good in the last few weeks and months. I've been working hard and it seems like it's been paying off.

"I definitely feel like I'm actually enjoying it more than ever before. That's a good sign and we will just see what results it's going to bring me."

Stosur looked to have turned things round after a dreadful start against Gisela Dulko but from a break up in the decider she fell apart and the Argentinian clinched a 6-4 1-6 6-3 victory.

The eighth seed must have fancied her chances here after losing to Francesca Schiavone in the final 12 months ago but she is confident she will have many more opportunities at grand slams.

Stosur said: "It's obviously very disappointing but it's hopefully not the end of the world and it's not going to change the way I play or the way I go into my next match. I'm not going to walk away from here thinking I've lost all my chances and my time is over."

Dulko's coach and brother Alejandro did not travel to Paris because he was about to become a father and the 26-year-old held up a towel after the match dedicating her win to new-born twins Myla and Teo.

She said: "The fact I couldn't be with my nephews yesterday in Buenos Aires, this was something very important to me. But, as I wrote on the towel, it was worth it. I think it's one of the most important matches for me, emotionally speaking."

The Argentinian will face French 11th seed Marion Bartoli in the next round after she recovered from going 0-4 down to end the hopes of dark horse Julia Goerges, winning 3-6 6-2 6-4.

Schiavone did make it through to the fourth round, although the Italian was given a tough time by Peng Shuai in the first set today.

However, the Chinese 29th seed was clearly feeling unwell and, after having her blood pressure taken at the start of the second set, she retired in tears trailing 6-3 1-2.

Two players who are flying under the radar made comfortable progress, with 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova - who has added former French Open winner Anastasia Myskina to her coaching team - beating Rebecca Marino 6-0 6-4.

The Russian next faces Hantuchova while three-time semi-finalist Jelena Jankovic, who saw off Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-2 6-2, will meet Schiavone.

Third seed Vera Zvonareva, meanwhile, avenged last year's second-round defeat by beating Anastasia Rodionova 6-2 6-3.