Paris, June 2: Aryna Sabalenka, the Belarusian second seed, secured her spot in the last 16 of the French Open for the first time with a commanding straight-set victory over Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia at Roland Garros in Paris on Friday.
Sabalenka, who has yet to drop a set in the tournament, dominated the match against the 82nd-ranked Rakhimova, winning comfortably with a score of 6-2, 6-2.
This win marks an important milestone for Sabalenka as she reaches the fourth round of the French Open for the first time in her career.
“Every tournament is a different tournament, Roland Garros is completely different to Australia, a different surface,” she said.
“It’s really good to have a Grand Slam in your pocket — it gives you so much confidence.”
In the next round, Sabalenka will face either former US Open champion Sloane Stephens or Yulia Putintseva from Kazakhstan. This upcoming match will provide another opportunity for Sabalenka to showcase her skills and continue her impressive run in the tournament.
After sharing the first four games, Sabalenka took control of the match, winning seven consecutive games. This dominant performance allowed her to secure victory in just 67 minutes.
Previously, Sabalenka had suffered three consecutive third-round exits on the clay courts of Paris, but this year she has been able to break that pattern and advance further.
With her strong start to the year, which includes winning her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and clinching the Madrid Open title, Sabalenka is considered one of the favorites for the championship.
As the tournament progresses, all eyes will be on her to see if she can maintain her impressive form and potentially claim the French Open title.
Elise Mertens knocks third seed Jessica Pegula out of French Open
Elise Mertens, the 28th seed from Belgium, delivered an impressive performance at the French Open, causing a major upset by defeating the American third seed, Jessica Pegula, in the last 32 on Friday.
The match at Court Philippe Chatrier ended with Mertens securing a comprehensive straight games victory with a scoreline of 6-1, 6-3 in Paris.
“I’m very happy to win in two sets. She’s a very good player,” said Mertens.
Mertens showcased her dominance throughout the match, demonstrating her skill and control on the clay court.
This win propelled her into the fourth round of the French Open for the third time in her career, further solidifying her presence as a formidable competitor in the tournament.
By defeating the higher-ranked Pegula, Mertens displayed her ability to perform under pressure and showcased her potential to challenge some of the tournament’s top contenders.
Despite being ranked as high as number three in the world, Jessica Pegula has yet to advance beyond the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam tournament. With only two WTA Tour titles to her name, the American player faced a setback at the French Open.
Mertens, a former Australian Open semi-finalist, dominated the match, swiftly taking control and establishing a significant lead. However, Pegula raised her level of play in the second set, providing a more competitive challenge for Mertens.
During the early stages of the second set, both players managed to break each other’s serve. However, Mertens was able to break Pegula once again, securing a 4-3 lead.
Mertens displayed her resilience by saving three break points, putting her within one game of victory. She capitalised on her first match point, swiftly closing out the match and securing her spot in the next round of the tournament.
Mertens will next face the winner of an all-Russian match between Anastasia Potapova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
This will be another opportunity for Mertens to showcase her skills and continue her quest for success in the French Open. (Agencies)