In remarkable series of matches, the power at the top of the French Open is changed and the third seed has a difficult match to reach the Round of Sixteen. Stunning upsets, terrific comebacks and a survival instinct has prevailed for those that are left to vie for the Women’s Championship at Roland Garros.

Caroline Wozniacki’s quest for her first Grand Slam Championship was derailed abruptly at the hands Of Daniela Hantuchova of Argentina. Hantuchova not only upset the world’s top ranked player, but she made it look easy.

Wozniacki had difficulty serving and an aggressive Huntuchova took full advantage. The top seed only managed to win 47 percent of her first serves and 40 percent of her second serves. Meanwhile, the Argentine won 77 percent of her first serves and 61 percent of her second serves. Daniela converted 5 of her 6 break point opportunities in the one-hour match.

Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands celebrates after winning her match against Kim Clijsters during the French Open 2011.

The women’s draw is now in shambles. The second seed, Kim Clijsters, looked out of shape and uncomfortable as left-hander Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands mounted a serious comeback that left Clijsters gasping for air.

The match started routinely with Clijsters winning due to erratic and edgy play from Rus. After Clijsters captured the first set 6-3, there appeared not much to worry about. But, Arantxa came to play and play she did. Her left-handed spin seemed to bother Clijsters. In the 3-6, 7-5, 6-1, two-hour match Rus struck quickly.

Clijsters was clearly not herself and the effects of not playing for the past month showed. The Belgian winner of the Australian Open does not have a great record on clay but rarely does she commit 65 unforced errors as she did against Rus. The lefty will next meet Maria Kirilenko of Russia who disposed of Chaneel Scheepers 6-1, 6-4.

The seeds continued to fall as Argentina’s Gisella Dulko overcame last year’s runner-up eight-seeded Samantha Stosur 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. Stosur is regarded to be one of the best servers on the tour but she was only able to win 55 percent of her first serves and 50 percent of her second serves.

Dulko moved brilliantly and was effective at the net. She was only able to convert 5 of 15 break opportunities but that was more than enough. Dulko had 27 unforced errors compared to 35 from Stosur. The telling stat in this match was Gisela’s repeated ability to hit 25 outright winners.

While three of the top 8 seeds fell, Maria Sharapova came very close to joining the jinxed seeds. Playing an up-and-coming star, Caroline Garcia of France, Sharapova lost the first set and then trailed 4-1 in the second set. Digging deep inside the seven seed who won in Rome last week sharpened her game and got the three breaks she needed to eek out the second set 6-4. A disappointed Garcia lost her focus and fell 6-0 in the third.

With so many seeds eliminated, just about every quarterfinal bracket looks completely different. In the Wozniacki quarter bracket, Svetlana Kuznetsova surely sees a door that has opened unexpectedly. The 13 seed is a former champion at Roland Garros and has been pointing to this event and looks like the favorite to emerge through the round of sixteen and the quarterfinals. She may get some opposition in the quarters from Marion Bartoli who will have excited support from her home fans.

On page two of the draw, third seeded Vera Zvonareva may be the highest seed but has big challenges ahead. She will most likely meet another surging Russian youngster Anastasia Pavyluchenkova.

To get through the quarters, she will meet the winner of a great Round Of Sixteen pairing between Jalena Jankovic and the defending champion Francesca Schiavone.

There is a lot of power on page two. Victoria Azarenka, Sharapova, Andrea Petkovic and Aggie Radwanska are all threats to go all the way.

There is great tennis being played with competitive matches at every step along the way to seven straight wins needed to win the tournament. Azarenka, Petkovic and Jankovic have been convincing and Pavlyuchenkova cannot be overlooked.


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