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Sabalenka crashes out of French Open after defeat by Russian Pavlyuchenkova

Aryna Sabalenka. Photo: Twitter/@rolandgarros

Paris, June 4 (MNN) Women’s tennis world number three Aryna Sabalenka on Friday crashed out of the French Open after suffering a defeat against 31st seed Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, leaving Serena Williams as the highest-ranked player in the bottom half of the draw.

The 31st seed Pavlyuchenkova won 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 and will meet Victoria Azarenka for a place in the quarter-finals.

Pavlyuchenkova was a quarter-finalist in Paris in 2011 while her win on Friday was her 37th over a top-10 player.

After the exits of Australian Ashleigh Barty and Japanese Naomi Osaka, the Belarusian was the highest seed remaining this week in Paris but she failed to keep a leash on her unforced errors to lose to the experienced 29-year-old Russian.

Simona Halep, the world No 3 and 2018 champion, didn’t even make it to Paris after suffering a calf injury.

Sabalenka has lost her third clay-court match this season.

The 23-year-old now has a win-loss record of 13-3 on clay.
Sabalenka had defeated Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3 in the Madrid Open semi-finals this year. The former is now 27-8 in the season.

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