French Open 2021: Sloane Stephens upsets Karolina Pliskova, No. 1 Ash Barty withdraws with injury

Action at the French Open rolls on, and Thursday has already brought a major upset and a major retirement. Follow along with all the latest upsets and surprises below.

Sloane Stephens upsets Karolina Pliskova

It was a long, hard-fought match, but American Sloane Stephens got it done. Stephens, ranked No. 59 in the world, upset No. 9 Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-1 in the second round on Thursday. 

Pliskova worked Stephens hard during the match, especially after Stephens was seen catching her breath early on. Stephens had to fly all around the court, but her skill at sliding on clay was on full display. She was dominant on first serve, winning 74 percent to Pliskova's 51 percent, and she was also able to take advantage of Pliskova's sloppiness. Pliskova made 38 unforced errors, while Stephens made just 18, and they essentially cost her the match. She hit several balls directly into the net, and she lost the final point of the game on one of numerous balls that she hit out of bounds. 

QUICK 👏 WORK 👏@SloaneStephens captures her first Top 10 win in over two years, defeating Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 6-1.
How it happened:

— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) June 3, 2021

The first set was a lengthy 60 minutes, but then Stephens was able to close it out in just a half hour. Her win against Pliskova is her first against a top ten opponent since the 2018 WTA Championships more than two years ago. She'll now face No. 19 Karolina Muchova in the third round. 

Ash Barty retires with injury

The No. 1 ranked women's tennis player in the world, Ash Barty, is out of the French Open. She withdrew during her second-round match against Magda Linette with a hip injury that had flared up just before she started competing at Roland-Garros. 

It was obvious from the start that Barty was struggling. She went down 1-6 in her first set, and with the score tied at 2-2 in the second set, she signaled that she wasn't able to continue. 

Magda Linette progresses to the third-round after 2019 Champion Ashleigh Barty retires due to injury, 6-1, 2-2 [ret].

The Pole meets Ons Jabeur next.

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 3, 2021

Barty, who won the French Open in 2019, needed an injury timeout during her three-set first-round win against Bernarda Pera. Following her injury retirement on Thursday, Barty said that her injury has caused her no small amount of distress this week, but that she's hoping something good will eventually come from it. 

Barty: "We have had — I mean, I've had my fair share of tears this week. It's all good. Everything happens for a reason. There will be a silver lining in this eventually. Once I find out what that is, it'll make me feel a little bit better. But it will be there, I'm sure."

— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) June 3, 2021

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