Paris. Novak Djokovic came into the French Open aware that early-round opponents can create problems. His fears came to life on Saturday.
The two-time semifinalist at Roland Garros lost in the third round on Saturday, falling to No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
“As I was saying before the event started, the opening rounds are very dangerous because the players are a bit lower ranked and they have nothing to lose,” Djokovic said. “Philipp is a clay-court specialist and he … played incredibly well today.”
Roger Federer and Andy Roddick also played well, each advancing to the fourth round.
No. 2 Serena Williams and No. 5 Jelena Jankovic did the same from the women’s draw, but fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva was eliminated.
On Saturday, the 22-year-old Djokovic could do little right against Kohlschreiber, who was playing in the third round of the clay-court major for the first time in his career.
“Always it comes together that maybe Novak didn’t play his best today,” Kohlschreiber said. “But from my point of view, I played good matches.”
Djokovic reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2007, but he lost in the second round last year.
“It’s a different surface, you know, different Grand Slams,” Djokovic said. “But suddenly I haven’t played in the last three Grand Slams the way I wanted.
Federer was again stretched to four sets before beating Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
On the women’s side, Dementieva lost to No. 30 Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.
Stosur converted seven of her 15 break points against the 2004 French Open runner-up.
Williams rallied to beat Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, while Jankovic defeated 73rd-ranked Jarmila Groth of Australia 6-1, 6-1.
Williams was broken once in the first set, but she complained about the final point, which she believed hit her opponent’s body.
Martinez Sanchez said the ball hit her racket.
Williams later accused Sanchez of cheating.
“The ball did touch her 100 percent on her arm,” Williams said. “The rules of tennis is when the ball hits your body, then it’s out of play. You lose a point automatically. So the ball hit her body, and therefore, she should have lost the point instead of cheating.”