Radwanska out of French Open
A review of Friday's women's singles action at the French Open, including defeat for Agnieszka Radwanska.
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Ajla Tomljanovic struck another blow for the new generation at the French Open on Friday but an old favourite looms large.
Tomljanovic defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 6-4, meaning for the first time at a grand slam in the Open era the top three women's seeds have all gone out before the fourth round.
Like Garbine Muguruza and Kristina Mladenovic, who beat Serena Williams and Li Na respectively, Tomljanovic is in the class of 93.
This was not as big a shock as the other two given Radwanska's dislike of clay, particularly in heavy conditions, but sizeable nonetheless.
The Pole's exit leaves Romania's Simona Halep, with one grand slam quarter-final to her name, as the highest seed left, but there is no doubt who the favourite is.
Maria Sharapova may be the seventh seed but as the 2012 champion and 2013 finalist, her pedigree is undeniable.
The Russian also sent out a warning to her rivals with a 6-0 6-0 thrashing of Argentina's Paula Ormaechea in the third round.
One thing that is certain is Sharapova will not wilt under the pressure, the 27-year-old saying: "If I don't have the mentality that I'm the favourite inside of myself going into a tournament like this, then I probably shouldn't be in the draw.
"I like to be positive yet realistic, and there is no reason why I shouldn't be the favourite at this tournament.
"I have won four grand slams and I feel that when I'm in the draw of a tournament, I'm there for a reason."
Sharapova should be tested in the next round by 2010 finalist Sam Stosur, who continued her fine week by beating ninth seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-4 6-4.
Stosur is a dangerous player, particularly on a clay court, but Sharapova has won 13 of the previous 15 meetings between them.
Croatian Tomljanovic, ranked 72, was a big talent as a junior but had been waiting for a breakthrough win at the highest level.
The 21-year-old said: "After seeing the two first seeds go out, you kind of feel like 'I can do this too'. I grew up with these girls that are beating them.
"I went out there, and I really, inside really thought I could win. I think that showed and it is why I won."
Tomljanovic moved to America eight years ago to train at Chris Evert's academy and remains close with the 18-time grand slam singles winner.
"She really wants me to do well, and I can feel that from her," said the Croatian. "I'm really happy that she's someone I can rely on."
In the meeting of the conquerors of the Williams sisters, it was Muguruza who came out on top, beating Anna Schmiedlova 6-2 6-4.
It was the end of the road, though, for 18-year-old Taylor Townsend, who found 14th seed Carla Suarez Navarro far too wily, the Spaniard prevailing 6-2 6-2.
American Townsend showed her vast potential by knocking out 20th seed Alize Cornet in the second round and will take away nothing but good memories from her first senior grand slam.
She said: "It's the most fun I've had. I have had a really good time just embracing the moments and the pressure and everything.
"I couldn't have asked for a better first grand slam and a better opportunity to show the world what I can do."
Townsend must also be a contender for a Wimbledon wild card. She finished runner-up in the girl's singles last year to Belinda Bencic, whose ranking is already high enough to get her into the main draw.
"If I got a wild card into Wimbledon, I would pass out right now," said the teenager.
"Wimbledon is my favourite tournament. I love the grass. I just love the tournament, the atmosphere. That would mean the world to me."
Australian Open semi-finalist Eugenie Bouchard reached the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time with a 7-5 6-4 victory over Johanna Larsson.
On Saturday, Halap plays her third-round match against Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor while former grand slam champions Petra Kvitova and Svetlana Kuznetsova face each other.