The favorites fall like flies in the female table. After the withdrawal of Serena Williams and the surprise defeat of Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday, it was Karolina Pliskova who gave up in the second round on Thursday. The number 2 seed was swept away by a tornado named Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) and barely more than an hour (1h10 precisely). Titled three years ago on the Parisian clay, the Latvian finds very good sensations and will try to continue her journey against Sloane Stephens or Paula Badosa in the third round.
This part looked very much like a trap for a Karolina Pliskova appeared half-hearted when she entered the running. And the great Czech fell in. Forced to retire in the final of the tournament in Rome last week, the number 2 seed of the tournament was clearly not 100% physically. But would she have survived otherwise? Nothing is less certain, so much Jelena Ostapenko applied the recipe that allowed her to get the trophy in 2017.
Cursed Pliskova in Grand Slam
With a formidable aggressiveness from the first hits of the racket, the Latvian did not let her opponent breathe. Exploiting the difficulties in the service of Pliskova (only 49% of first balls and 30% of points gained behind the second), Ostapenko distributed the breads (27 winning moves) while limiting the number of his errors (19 unforced errors). Like an electric battery constantly ready to pounce on the slightest short ball, she often happily used the opposite foot to destabilize her rival.
Gaining speed and almost systematically misplaced as a result, Pliskova accumulated blunders (25 unforced errors for only 9 winning shots) and gave in as soon as the exchange continued. Clearly, the Czech has a hard time shining in Grand Slam (she is always chasing a first title) and in particular at Roland Garros: it is her 6th defeat in Paris in the second round or before in 9 participations.