French Open 2019: Second seed Karolina Pliskova slides to defeat in straight sets

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic gestures as she leaves a court after her third round defeat (Reuters)

Karolina Pliskova’s quest for a maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open came to an end on Friday as the second seed lost 6-3 6-3 to Croatia’s Petra Martic.

The powerful Czech struggled throughout to find the range on her feared serve and forehand as 31st seed Martic matched her best performance by reaching the last 16.

Martic broke in the seventh game and then again two games later as Pliskova hit a backhand long to drop the opener.

A lacklustre Pliskova then dropped serve again at the start of the second set before hitting back with a flurry of winners to break her 28-year-old opponent twice in a row.

The fightback did not last though and Matic regained control with two more breaks before serving it out at 5-3.

Martic will play an unseeded player next, either Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi or Russian Veronika Kudermetova.

There was better news for Pliskova’s fellow Czech Marketa Vondrousova as the 19-year-old reached the last 16 with a 6-4 6-4 defeat of Spanish 28th seed Carla Suarez Navarro.

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