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Safarova ousts 2008 French Open champ Ivanovic

Bloomberg

Former French Open title holder Ana Ivanovic was knocked out of the third round at Roland Garros as 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova got past fifth seed Petra Kvitova.

The 11th-seeded Ivanovic, a former top-ranked player, was beaten 6-3, 6-3 by Czech Lucie Safarova on the Court Suzanne Lenglen. Ivanovic, the only player to have defeated top-ranked Serena Williams and former winner Maria Sharapova this season, won Roland Garros in 2008.

Ivanovic had been a 8-1 shot at U.K. bookmaker William Hill Plc after the top three seeds in the women’s tournament all lost early.

Kuznetsova, a Russian seeded 27th, beat former Wimbledon champion Kvitova, 6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 9-7 in Paris. It was the first time she’s beaten the Czech player in four attempts.

Earlier Saturday, Sloane Stephens, David Ferrer and Simona Halep all moved into the second week of the French Open without dropping a set.

Stephens fired 16 winners in her 6-3, 6-4 win against Ekaterina Makarova of Russia to make the fourth round in Paris for the third consecutive year.

“I was happy to be able to play early and get the W,” No. 15 seed Stephens said in a court-side interview. “As the tournament goes on, the competition gets tougher.”

The 21-year-old had her breakthrough year in 2013, when she defeated top-ranked Serena Williams to reach the Australian Open semi-finals. At Roland Garros, Stephens is the highest-ranked American woman left in the draw after defending champion Williams lost to Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the second round.

Stephens will face Simon Halep, at No. 4 the highest seed left in the women’s tournament, in the next round. Halep had no problem with Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor, 6-3, 6-0. The Romanian won six tournaments last year, the most on the women’s WTA tour after Williams, who took 11 titles.

“It’s not easy to be the first seeded now during the tournament,” Halep told reporters. “But I try just to keep the pressure away from me and just to play every match, because here at a Grand Slam every match is difficult.

Spain’s David Ferrer, a runner-up last year, was tested in the second set against Italy’s Andreas Seppi, but won 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 as he dominated from the back of the court.

Rafael Nadal, the top performer in Roland Garros with eight singles titles and only one loss, plays Leonardo Mayer of Argentina later in the day. Nadal has dropped only 10 games so far in the tournament, after struggling in some warm-up events before Paris.

Jack Sock, one of three U.S. men into the third round, lost to Dusan Lajovic of Serbia, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3. Donald Young, a former top-ranked junior from the U.S., faces Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez later in the day. Fellow American and No. 10 seed John Isner has already qualified for the fourth round.

The French Open is the least successful major for American men. Andre Agassi is the last man from the U.S. to clinch the singles title, in 1999. No American men have won a major since Andy Roddick’s 2003 triumph at the U.S. Open.

Also Saturday, Jelena Jankovic, a former top-ranked player from Serbia, plays Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, while 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic, also from Serbia, faces Lucie Safarova.

Andy Murray, the Wimbledon champion from Britain, closes play on the Court Suzanne Lenglen against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.