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World number 227 adds Pliskova to French Open casualty list

PARIS (AFP) – Karolina Pliskova became the sixth top 10 women’s seed to exit the French Open yesterday when she was knocked out by world number 227 Leolia Jeanjean.

Eighth-seeded Pliskova, last year’s Wimbledon runner-up and a semi-finalist in Paris in 2017, lost 6-2, 6-2 to the 26-year-old Frenchwoman who cut her teeth as a leading college player in the United States.

Former number one Pliskova joins fellow top 10 seeds, defending champion Barbora Krejcikova, Maria Sakkari, Ons Jabeur, Anett Kontaveit and former winner Garbine Muguruza in failing to get through to the third round.

Jeanjean is the lowest-ranked woman to beat a top 10 player at Roland Garros in 34 years.

“I don’t really realise what’s going on. I find it just incredible,” said Jeanjean, all smiles on the court just after his victory.

Considered a future star at 12, Jeanjean saw her career abruptly halted by injuries, including a triple dislocation of the knee.

Leolia Jeanjean plays a backhand return to Karolina Pliskova during their women’s singles match of the Roland-Garros. PHOTO: AFP

She then left to study in the United States, only returning to top-level tennis at the end of 2020.

“I wanted to come back so as not to regret anything. I think I made the right choice,” she said.

Pliskova has made the second week at Roland Garros just once in 11 visits.

World number three Paula Badosa overcame a scare to defeat 68th-ranked Kaja Juvan of Slovenia 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.

Badosa, a quarter-finalist in 2021, recovered from a break down in the decider to set up a meeting with 29th seed Veronika Kudermetova for a spot in the last 16.

Also going through was US 11th seed Jessica Pegula who needed eight match points to defeat Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.