Third seed Sabalenka crashes out of French Open

MARTIN BUREAU / AFP

Third seed Aryna Sabalenka crashed out of the French Open with a third-round defeat to Russian 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The Belarusian lost the encounter 4-6 6-2 0-6.

The latest result leaves the women's draw without its top three seeds at the claycourt Grand Slam.

After the exits of Ash Barty and Naomi Osaka, Sabalenka 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.

Sabalenka got off to a rollicking start for a 3-0 lead but her unforced errors abruptly mounted and Pavlyuchenkova won six of the next seven games to bag the set.

The 23-year-old hammered a flurry of winners to take four games in a row to win the second set and level the match before Pavlyuchenkova went off the court for medical attention, returning with her left thigh heavily strapped.

The injury seemed to have made no difference to Pavlyuchenkova's game as she handed a bagel to her opponent in the decider to set up a meeting against either Victoria Azarenka of Belarus or American Madison Keys.

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