French Open: No. 4 seeds upset in third round

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PARIS (AP) — The seeds began meeting at the French Open on Friday, producing the highest-ranked exits in the men’s and women’s draws.

Both No. 4 seeds, Grigor Dimitrov and Elina Svitolina, were upset to start third-round play at Roland Garros. The other top seeds in action all advanced, led by No. 2 Alexander Zverev (barely) and No. 7 Dominic Thiem and No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 13 Madison Keys.

NBC’s coverage of the French Open continues Saturday at 12 p.m. ET, also streaming on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Saturday’s third-round schedule includes Serena Williams playing No. 11 Julia Goerges of Germany, Maria Sharapova against No. 6 Karolina Pliskova and Rafael Nadal versus Richard Gasquet. Williams and Sharapova would play each other in the fourth round.

On Friday, Dimitrov fell to 0-7 against top-50 opponents at the French Open and still has never made it to the fourth round at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament.

Dimitrov, a two-time major semifinalist, bowed out 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4 against Fernando Verdasco, who is ranked 35th and seeded 30th.

In his previous match, Dimitrov had come back after trailing two sets to one and defeated Jared Donaldson 10-8 in the fifth set. That 4-hour, 19-minute victory might have taken something out of Dimitrov.

Verdasco, meanwhile, got to the French Open round of 16 for the seventh time. He has lost at that stage on all six previous chances to reach the quarterfinals.

Svitolina surprisingly lost 6-3, 7-5 against Mihaela Buzarnescu, who never had won a Grand Slam match until this week.

Svitolina reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in 2015 and 2017 and was coming off a second consecutive title in Rome on red clay. She also came into the French Open with a chance to get to No. 1.

But the 31st-seeded Buzarnescu, a Romanian with a PhD in sports science, continued the surge that has seen her rise nearly 350 spots in the rankings over the past year. She has not dropped a set yet and will face U.S. Open runner-up Keys in the fourth round.

Zverev is into the fourth round of the French Open for the first time, saving match point to win 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5 against Damir Dzumhur, who collided with a ball boy in the fourth set.

Wozniacki breezed past French wild-card entry Pauline Parmentier 6-0, 6-3 and appears to be brimming with self-belief after her breakthrough Australian Open title in January.

Venus Williams and Serena Williams advanced to the third round in doubles, beating Sara Errani and Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 6-2.

The Williams-Williams duo last competed at a major tournament together at Wimbledon in 2016. They won their 14th Grand Slam title in doubles at the All England Club.

Serena Williams, who gave birth to a daughter in September, is playing in Grand Slam singles for the first time in 16 months. She has reached the third round at Roland Garros, but her older sister lost in the first round.

Rain ended play prematurely on Friday, with U.S. Open winner Sloane Stephens among those unable to start their scheduled matches.

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FRENCH OPEN: TV/Stream Schedule | Scores | Men’s Draw (PDF) | Women’s Draw