US Open champion Emma Raducanu lost in the second round at the French Open on Wednesday, leaving the women’s singles draw without any of the four reigning Grand Slam winners.
Raducanu, 19, was making her debut at Roland Garros but failed to advance to the third round against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, falling 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.
“It just takes a lot more to win the point on this surface, and, you know, you hit a ball flat and it doesn’t really do that much,” Raducanu said. “I definitely learnt like when to use the shape and stuff. Yeah, like I still got quite a long way to go on this surface, but overall, I would say I definitely had a good first experience on the clay. I think that I can definitely improve a lot more than what I am at right now.”
Raducanu follows defending French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova to the exit in Paris. Reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open Ash Barty is not playing following her surprise retirement in March.
It was the seventh appearance in the second round for Sasnovich, who advances to the third round for the first time.
Another Belarusian, two-time Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka, also advanced on Wednesday along with American teenager Coco Gauff, the youngest player remaining in the women’s field.
Azarenka, the 15th seed, recorded a 6-1, 7-6 (3) win over German Andrea Petkovic.
Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium led Gauff by two games twice in the second set but was eliminated 6-1, 7-6 (4). Gauff reached the quarterfinals at the 2021 French Open.
Past champions and present top seeds are falling fast in Paris.
No. 4 Maria Sakkari of Greece was defeated in the second round one year after reaching the semifinals in Paris. She lost 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) to Czech Karolina Muchova, who has been hampered by injuries most of the year.
Czech player Marie Bouzkova did not play her second-round match after testing positive for COVID-19. Bouzkova is the first singles player to pull out of Roland Garros because of the coronavirus in 2022.
Her withdrawal pushed No. 31 Elise Mertens into the third round.
Other seeded winners included 17th-seeded Leylah Fernandez of Canada, 21st-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, 23rd-seeded Jil Teichmann of Switzerland and 27th-seeded Amanda Anisimova.
Fernandez breezed to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Katerina Siniakova, Kerber posted a 6-1, 7-6 (2) win over Frenchwoman Elsa Jacquemot, Teichmann secured a 6-4, 6-1 triumph over Serbia’s Olga Danilovic and Anisimova notched a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Donna Vekic of Slovakia.
Sloane Stephens overcame dropping the first set to seize a 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 win over No. 26 Sorana Cirstea of Belgium.
–Field Level Media