Two of the world’s top three were knocked out of the second round of the Italian Open by players outside the world’s top 100 on Thursday.
World number two and Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus was upset 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 by 134th-ranked American Sofia Kenin.
Meanwhile, third seed Jessica Pegula lost 6-2 3-6 6-3 to fellow American Taylor Townsend, currently ranked 168.
Her compatriot Coco Gauff and Belarusian Victoria Azarenka managed to progress.
Gauff continued her French Open preparations losing just one match in her win over Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.
Last year’s French Open runner-up, 19, needed exactly one hour to secure a 6-0 6-1 victory in Rome.
World number 17 Azarenka cruised to a 6-4 6-3 win over American Sloane Stephens, who won in Saint Malo last week.
Sabalenka, 25, had reached the final of her last two tournaments, beating world number one Iga Swiatek to won the Madrid Open last week.
But she was upset by former world number four Kenin, who has slipped in the rankings since winning the 2020 Australian Open and recorded her first victory in Rome since 2019.
It was also the 24-year-old’s first victory against a top-10 opponent since shocking then-world number one Ashleigh Barty in the semi-finals as she qualified for her solitary Grand Slam triumph in Melbourne.