PARIS — One French Open analyst this week described world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki as playing "moonballing nonsense," and after she and No. 2 seed Kim Clijsters crashed out, the women's game generally is under heavy criticism.
Wozniacki, the top seed despite never having won a Grand Slam event, was completely outplayed in a 6-1, 6-3 third-round loss to 28th seed Daniela Hantuchova on Friday, leaving the draw even more wide open than it was before the clay-court event began.
Clijsters lost on Thursday to unknown youngster Arantxa Rus, while a 2010 finalist, Samantha Stosur, seeded eighth, was beaten on Friday by unseeded Gisela Dulko.
In men's featured matches, No. 3 seed Roger Federer rolled past No. 29 Janko Tipsarevic 6-1, 6-4, 6-3, while No. 2 Novak Djokovic's match with No. 25 Juan Martin Del Potro was halted by darkness after Djokovic took the first set 6-3 and Del Potro the second 6-3.
Gone are the days of enthralling women's battles between Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova or Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.
Asked what the new generation of Wozniacki and company had brought to the game, 2009 French Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova said: "Not much. Clijsters and the Williams sisters are much better."
Serena and Venus Williams are out after long-term injuries, and if they return, they are unlikely to be able to hit their previous heights.
Third seed Vera Zvonareva and No. 5 Francesca Schiavone, a surprise winner last year, are now favorites for the trophy. Zvonareva beat Anastasia Rodionova 6-2, 6-3.
Schiavone, seeded fifth, advanced on a walkover when her opponent, Peng Shuai, had to quit the match because of a breathing problem caused by a cold.