Paris: Maria Sharapova moved into the third round of tennis’s French Open as No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska became the highest-seeded woman to lose in Paris.
Meanwhile, Kevin Anderson’s hopes of becoming the first South African man to reach the last 16 of a Grand Slam for nine years were shattered by Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych in a French Open slugfest on Friday.
The 31st seed from Johannesburg was attempting to match compatriot Wayne Ferreira who made the fourth round at the Australian Open in 2003.
But after taking a two sets to one lead, he ran out of steam in the final set, when he needed treatment on his left thigh at every changeover, and lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4 6-4, eight minutes short of four hours.
Berdych, a semi-finalist in Paris in 2010, will next take on either ninth seed Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina or Marin Cilic of Croatia for a place in the quarter-finals.
Earier, second-seeded Sharapova beat Japan’s Ayumi Morita 6-1, 6-1 in a second-round match postponed last night by darkness at Roland Garros. Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2009 champion, defeated Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 in a third-round match.
Sharapova dominated in the hour-long match with Morita, hitting 22 winners to just one for her opponent and breaking six times.
Kuznetsova, the 26th seed, reaches the fourth round for the eighth time in 10 French Open appearances.
Poland’s Radwanska needed to win the title to have a chance at taking over the top spot in the world rankings.
Kuznetsova next meets No. 21 Sara Errani of Italy, who defeated 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Errani reaches the fourth round for the first time and continues a season in which she’s won three clay-court titles and reached the Australian Open quarterfinals.
Ivanovic, the 13th seed from Serbia, won the French Open in 2008. She’s failed to advance past the third round the past three seasons.
“It’s really disappointing because I felt like I had a game and I was playing really well,” Ivanovic said at a news conference.
Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova, the 15th seed, advanced in straight sets over Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, while Sloane Stephens of the US beat Mathilde Johansson of France 6- 3, 6-2 to reach the fourth round of a major for the first time. Stephens is one of three American women in the third round, the most since 2005.
Men’s No. 20 Marcel Granollers of Spain came back to complete a five-set win over Tunisian Malek Jaziri in a match suspended on Thursday night.