PARIS, May 30: Elina Svitolina saw off Roland Garros debutante Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round of the French Open on Wednesday.
The Ukrainian fourth seed, coming off a successful defence of her title in Rome, played solid tennis throughout to set up a meeting with Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu.
Kuzmova, having beaten 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone in the first round, was no pushover in the opening set but there was little she could do when the Ukrainian stepped up a gear.
After an early trade of breaks in the second set, Svitolina, twice a quarter-finalist in Paris, broke her opponent’s serve again for 4-3 and held to close it out without a scare.
Eighth seed Petra Kvitova eased into the French Open third round with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena on Wednesday.
The two-time Wimbledon champion has now won 13 consecutive matches on clay after claiming titles in Prague and Madrid, and will face either Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru or Estonia’s 25th seed Anett Kontaveit for a place in the last 16.
Czech Kvitova has not reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros since a run to the last four in 2012.
The 28-year-old raced through the opening set in only 24 minutes, and although she was pegged back after an early break in the second, a booming forehand sealed victory with a third straight game.
Halep rewarded for patience after risky start
Top seed Simona Halep reached the second round of the French Open a day later than expected and not without a fright as she recovered from a slow start to beat American Alison Riske 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 on Wednesday.
The Romanian lost the opening five games as she sprinkled unforced errors across Court Philippe Chatrier but there was no sign of panic and her game belatedly clicked into gear.
The 83rd-ranked Riske managed to win only three games in her previous claycourt meeting with the twice Roland Garros runner-up but broke serve three times in the opening set.
Halep quickly reasserted her authority though with the depth and power of her groundstrokes stopping Riske in her tracks — conceding just 14 points in sets two and three. (Agencies)