PARIS -- Simona Halep became the highest seeded player to exit the French Open so far as last year's runner-up lost, 7-5, 6-1, to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the second round yesterday.
The third-seeded Halep, who reached her first major final at Roland Garros in 2014, struggled from the start on Court Suzanne Lenglen and was overpowered in the second set, slumping to her second straight defeat against her 70th-ranked opponent. The Croatian had also beaten Halep at the U.S. Open last year.
"It was difficult because I didn't feel the game," Halep said. "I don't have a good feeling of my game, and that's why I couldn't change something."
Lucic-Baroni hit an ace on match point and raised both arms in delight. She finished with 29 winners, compared to five for Halep.
"It's incredible, she's just a great champion and I respect her so much," Lucic-Baroni said. "It's such a huge win."
Defending champion Maria Sharapova limited her mistakes to just eight unforced errors as she beat Russian Fed Cup teammate Vitalia Diatchenko, 6-3, 6-1.
She will now get an early test in her bid for a third French Open title, having set up a third-round match against 2010 French Open finalist Samantha Stosur. The Australian swept to a 6-0, 6-1 win over French wild- card entry Amandine Hesse.
The rout extended Stosur's winning streak to seven matches after she arrived in Paris on the back of her first title this year in Strasbourg.
In men's play, second-seeded Roger Federer made light work of Marcel Granollers, winning 6-2, 7-6 (1), 6-3, while 2014 Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka reached the third round with a 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 defeat of Dusan Lajovic.
No. 5 Kei Nishikori, No. 12 Gilles Simon and 14th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga advanced in straight sets. -- AP