Agnieszka Radwanska latest victim of new generation
Following in the footsteps of Li Na and Serene Williams, Polish third seed crashes out in first week, losing to Croatian Tomljanovic
Reuters in Paris
Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska was knocked out of the French Open in the third round on Friday, becoming the latest victim of a new generation of talent sweeping through the draw.
Unseeded Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic, who is coached by US great Chris Evert, beat Radwanska 6-4, 6-4.
The top three seeds have now been sent packing following the first-round exit of China's Li Na and the second-round elimination of defending champion and world No 1 Serena Williams.
It is the first time since tennis turned pro in 1968 that the top three seeds in the women's draw have failed to qualify for the fourth round of a grand slam.
"After seeing the two first seeds go out, you kind of feel you can do this, too," said the 21-year-old Tomljanovic.
"I went out there, and inside I really thought I could win. I think that showed and it is why I won."
Tomljanovic unsettled Radwanska with sliced backhands and opened a 5-1 lead after breaking serve twice. The Pole pulled one back for 5-3 with a forehand winner, but a lob that sailed long handed Tomljanovic the opening set. She kept her composure, mixing it up with drop shots to break in the first game of the second set then hold serve.
Radwanska said: "I don't think it was my day today."
Tomljanovic was joined in the fourth round by former finalist Samantha Stosur, of Australia, who beat Slovakian ninth seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-4 6-4.
"I'm very happy with my tennis, today was definitely the toughest match," said the 2011 US Open champion.
In the men's, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both needed four sets to reach the fourth round.
The second-seeded Serb won 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4 against Marin Cilic, and looked sluggish at times.
Federer, meanwhile, was in total control before wasting four set points in the second set on his way to a 7-5, 6-7 (7), 6-2, 6-4 win against Dmitry Tursunov.