Radwanska and Cibulkova latest seeds to fall at French Open
Originally published on 30/05/14
The 21-year-old Croat is playing in the main draw at Roland Garros for the first time and had never beaten a top-25 player before. However, she dictated play against an out-of-sorts Radwanska, who was the highest seed left in the draw following the shock exits of Serena Williams and Li Na earlier this week.
"After seeing the two first seeds go out, you kind of feel like I can do this too," said Tomljanovic "I grew up with these girls that are beating them. I went out to the stadium for the first time, and she kind of feels like home there, because she's been there a lot more than I did. I went out there, and I really thought I could win. I think that showed and it is why I won.”
Although Radwanska has never made it past the quarter-finals in Paris before, she was still expected to avoid defeat against world No.72 Tomljanovic. But the Croat raced into a 5-1 lead and then broke again at the start of the second set to secure just her second win over a top-30 player. Radwanska's exit means it is the first time in the Open era that the top three seeds have all lost before the fourth round in a Slam and leaves No.4 seed Simona Halep as the highest-ranked player remaining.
"She definitely played good tennis today," said Radwanska. "I had my chances, I didn't take them. I think that cost me the match. It doesn't mean if the first and second seeds lost, it doesn't mean the third one is going to win. It's stupid to say that. It doesn't matter who is in the draw, if you play good then you're going to win. I just didn't play good enough today to win the match."
Ninth seed Dominika Cibulkova also exited the tournament following a 6-4 6-4 defeat to Sam Stosur. The Australian has looked in fine form in Paris so far and had not dropped a set against Cibulkova in their previous four meetings. She maintained her unbeaten record against the Slovakian with a hard-fought victory that sees her progress into the fourth round of a Slam for the first time since 2012.
"It's very pleasing,” said No.19 seed Stosur. “I'm really happy with the way I played today and I think it's the first time I won three matches in a row for a while, too. And to keep playing well when your opponent is putting you under pressure at certain times in the match, it's really amazing to come out of those as well. I just love playing here. I've had some really great moments here and some of the best matches of my career actually. Hopefully I can still have a few more matches like this."
American qualifier Taylor Townsend saw her impressive run come to an end as she was beaten 6-2 6-2 by No.14 seed Carla Suarez Navarro. Meanwhile, Ernests Gulbis reached the last 16 for the first time since 2008 with a 6-3 6-2 7-5 win over Radek Stepanek.
To view photos from the French Open taken by tennishead photographer Mike Frey visit www.amnimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Roland-Garros-2014/G0000qkr26qLI4L8/