While things went largely as expected on the men's side during the second round of the 2013 French Open, there were plenty of noteworthy upsets in the women's draw that could very well have a huge impact on the tournament moving forward.
Top contenders such as Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka are still alive; however, their respective roads to the final may have gotten a lot easier with unheralded players doing some of their leg work in the second round.
Here are the biggest upsets that occurred on the women's side at Roland Garros in the second round, as well as analysis of how the shocking results came to be.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands Defeats Li Na
There is no question that the biggest upset of the second round came early on a rainy Thursday at Roland Garros as unheralded American Bethanie Mattek-Sands upset 2011 French Open champion and No. 6 seed Li Na of China. Li was expected by most to make it to the quarterfinals at the very least and was considered a dark horse to potentially win the French Open for the second time. That won't be happening this year, though, as Mattek-Sands tripped her up by a score of 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.
Mattek-Sands normally makes headlines for her interesting sense of style, but she let her play do the talking on Thursday. Mattek-Sands didn't dominate Li statistically, as she actually had more unforced errors than Li with 37 to Li's 34, but she also had 12 more winners than the former champ. Not surprisingly, Li struggled to explain her loss afterwards, according to Live Tennis.
Li Na looked a little shell-shocked speaking to the media just now. At a loss to explain her shock defeat today http://t.co/zKcSBvtCzg— Live Tennis (@livetennis) May 30, 2013
Li didn't play an awful match and seemed to be in control after one set, but Mattek-Sands displayed a great deal of grit and determination throughout. The 28-year-old Mattek-Sands had never advanced past the third round at Roland Garros, but she now has a golden opportunity to do so. In fact, if she continues to play at this level, a quarterfinal berth isn't out of the question.
Bojana Jovanovski Defeats Caroline Wozniacki
As harsh as it may sound, perhaps it is time to stop being surprised by Caroline Wozniacki exiting Grand Slams early. Wozniacki entered the French Open as the No, 10 seed, but she has fallen off considerably since reaching No. 1 back in Oct. 2010. Wozniacki was knocked out in the third round by Kaia Kanepi last year, but her stay was even shorter this time around as Bojana Jovanovski ousted her.
The 21-year-old Jovanovski is an up-and-coming player with a very bright future, but she is the type of player Wozniacki should be beating at this juncture. Wozniacki seemed tentative throughout, however, and Jovanovski took advantage. Jovanovski took the match 7-6, 6-3 and Wozniacki was extremely upset with her own approach after the match, according to Roland Garros' Twitter account.
Wozniacki: "I wasn't consistent enough. She was hitting the ball every time, going for her shots. I didn't get to play the game I wanted to"— Roland Garros (@rolandgarros) May 29, 2013
The proof is in the pudding as Wozniacki ended up with a measly 13 winners, while Jovanovski blasted 33. The Serb also had 32 unforced errors, but she controlled the pace of the match and made Wozniacki react. That is always a great approach for an underdog, and she'll need to continue it against former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round.
What was the most shocking second-round upset?
Marina Erakovic Defeats Dominika Cibulkova
While most don't think of Dominika Cibulkova as a top star in women's tennis, she entered the French Open as the No. 16 seed and she reached the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2009, so she was a definite threat in this tournament. Cibulkova could have been a land mine for the likes of Sloane Stephens, Samantha Stosur, Petra Kvitova or even Maria Sharapova in her part of the draw, but Marina Erakovic eradicated her from the proceedings.
Although Cibulkova and Erakovic were evenly matched, aggressiveness was once again a key. Just like Jovanovski did to Wozniacki, Erakovic dictated the play and had the final say in most points. Erakovic got less than half her first serves in, but she hit 38 winners and made history for her home country of New Zealand by defeating Cibulkova, according to WTA senior manager of communications and publications Kevin Fischer.
Becoming the first Kiwi to reach the third round at Roland Garros is certainly impressive, but Erakovic likely has bigger plans. She has some difficult work ahead of her as she must face the aforementioned Stephens and Sharapova in the next two rounds if she hopes to advance further. Even if she doesn't, this is a great stepping stone for the future.
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