To whistles and jeers, 12th-seeded Mary Pierce lost to Barbara Rittner 6-4, 6-2 today in the third round of the French Open.
For Pierce, the first women's seed to be eliminated, it was her second early round Grand Slam exit this year after being knocked out of the Australian Open in the second round in January.As Pierce raced off the court to a chorus of boos, the crowd cheered the unseeded Rittner of Germany, who had lost to Pierce on four previous occasions.
Pierce, a Floridian, plays out of France.
"I had a lot of pressure on me," said Pierce, a French Open finalist in 1994. "I made too many mistakes.
"They can cheer who they want to cheer for. There's nothing I can do about it."
Rittner said, "The audience was great. They knew who was playing well and I played well."
Fourth-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario cruised into the fourth round, defeating Russia's Elena Likhovtseva 6-0, 6-0 in 53 minutes.
Likhovtseva beat Sanchez Vicario earlier this month on another clay court - in the quarterfinals at the Berlin Open - but she posed little resistance Friday.
"I was very concentrated from the beginning today, playing deep and attacking the ball," the Spaniard said. "I had a nice feeling playing against her again."
Sanchez Vicario has lost only one game in her last two matches. She beat Veronika Martinek of Germany, 6-0, 6-1, in the second round.
Also advancing today were No. 10 Jana Novotna, who defeated Elena Makarova of Russia 6-1, 7-5; and No. 13 Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria, a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Miriam Oremans of the Netherlands.
Chris Woodruff, the unseeded American who ousted fourth-seeded Andre Agassi in the second round, lost in a grueling match with Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Woodruff won the NCAA title in 1993 while at Tennessee.
Also on the men's side, No. 6 Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia was the first to reach the fourth round, downing Felix Mantilla of Spain 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, in 1 hour, 51 minutes.
Richard Krajicek, No. 13 of the Netherlands beat Australian Todd Woodbridge 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. Unseeded French player Guy Forget was trounced by Francisco Clavet of Spain, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.
Also today, top-seeded Pete Sampras met fellow American Todd Martin. Sampras has defeated Martin 10 times in their previous 12 matches, but the two have never met on clay.
Seventh-seeded Jim Courier was matched against Karol Kucera of Slovakia.
Monica Seles, sharing the top seed with defending champion Steffi Graf, faced Sabine Appelmans of Belgium, who previously made it to the fourth round in the French Open.
Stefan Edberg has played 41 matches since his first appearance at the French Open in 1984, but there is one that sticks with him the most.
In 1989, Edberg played in the final against Michael Chang, taking a two-sets-to-one lead before losing in five.
"That's the match I will remember," he said.
Edberg and Chang will meet again at the French Open, this time in the third round of the Swede's 13th and final appearance at Roland Garros.
"It will be a tough match, I'm sure about that," said Edberg, who has won six Grand Slams but never the French. "He's improved tremendously since '89. If I play as well as I've done the first two matches, I feel at least I have a chance."