Second seed Karolina Pliskova is knocked out of the tournament by the former RG champion Jelena Ostapenko. She moved on with a 6-4, 6-2 win in the second round of the French Open on Thursday. Meanwhile the second seed couldn’t control her unforced errors and was forced deep into the baseline by her opponent unlike her natural game.
Latvian Ostapenko, who won the 2017 title as an unseeded played aggressive tennis; her natural game from the very start and hit 27 winners as Pliskova struggled to rein in her unforced errors under the closed roof of Court Philippe Chatrier.
The 23-year-old Ostapenko broke her opponent’s serve three times in the first set and twice in the next set. Eventually she sealed victory in an easy fashion and made sure that Pliskova remained the only active former world number one who is yet to win a Grand Slam. Although Pliskova has been a regular presence in the top 10 for the past five years, she has reached just one grand slam final, losing to Angelique Kerber in the 2016 US Open title match.
The hard-hitting Latvian’s record at the French Open is peculiar, with three first-round exits and one run all the way through the draw to glory her return from four previous trips to Roland Garros. Pliskova was frustrated to lose their second-round match, and afterwards questioned whether Ostapenko’s death-or-glory style could carry her to another final. “I’m not sure. There is, what, five more matches to go? I’m not sure if she can hold the level,” Pliskova said. “For sure if she plays like [she did on Thursday] she has a chance, but there are tough girls in the draw.”
“A young generation is coming,” Ostapenko said. “When I saw her winning, of course I also want to get back there on top and win another grand slam. We are inspiring each other, the new generation, which is also I think good.”
Pliskova will face Paula Badosa in the next round.