The shocks continued at the French Open this afternoon as world number one Caroline Wozniacki crashed out in the third round with a 6-1 6-3 defeat by Daniela Hantuchova.
Yesterday saw second seed Kim Clijsters throw away a winning position against little-known Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus while last year’s finalist Samantha Stosur was beaten by Gisela Dulko this morning.
The match on Court Suzanne Lenglen was reminiscent of last year’s fourth-round clash at Wimbledon, where Wozniacki was thumped 6-2 6-0 by Petra Kvitova, and again showed the Dane has some way to go if she is really to be considered the best player in the world.
The top seed won her first clay-court event in Brussels last weekend but she is clearly not entirely at home on the surface and was unconvincing in beating near namesake Aleksandra Wozniak in the second round on Wednesday.
The Canadian failed to take advantage but Hantuchova, 28, gave the impression early on that she would not let Wozniacki off the hook so easily.
The experienced Slovakian was the one prepared to go for winners, and she was making them. In no time she had broken the Dane’s serve twice and she wrapped up a first set in which her opponent did not hit a single winner inside half an hour.
Wozniacki, who relies on consistency and great movement, really was playing very poorly and Hantuchova continued her onslaught at the start of the second set, breaking twice to open up a 4-0 lead.
The 28th seed, who had not taken a set off Wozniacki in three previous meetings, has a reputation for imploding in big matches and the alarm bells were ringing when she lost three games in a row.
But for once Hantuchova held her nerve, continuing to go for her shots, and a netted backhand from Wozniacki sealed her fate.