Aryna Sabalenka breezes into third round of French Open

League: Tennis

Posted on: 31 May, 2024 at 01:27 AM

Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka and fourth-seeded Elena Rybakina each recorded a straight-sets victory on Thursday to advance to the third round of the French Open in Paris.

Sabalenka of Belarus notched a 6-2, 6-2 win over Japanese qualifier Moyuka Uchijima 6-2, 6-2 in 62 minutes, while Rybakina of Russia needed just five minutes more to secure a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands.

Sabalenka advanced to face dear friend and doubles partner Paula Badosa, who secured a 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 win over Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

"She's my favorite," Sabalenka said of Spain's Badosa. "I love her so much. I love to see her play, and she's really a great fighter, so it's always great matches.

"It's always tough to play your friend, your really best friend on tour, I would say. It's always tough, but we know how to manage that. We know how to separate court and life. So it's always great battle, great fight against her. I always enjoy playing against her. We're good to separate things."

Rybakina recorded 28 winners against 20 unforced errors in her match to set up a clash versus No. 25 Elise Mertens of Belgium, who posted a 6-4, 6-3 win over Petra Martic of Croatia.

"No one wants to play three sets ... so I was trying to focus point by point and push myself," Rybakina said of her motivation. "Energy-wise, I wasn't that happy today with myself."

Fifth-seeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic overcame being blanked in the first set to post a 0-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over Katie Volynets.

While those seeded players were victorious, the same cannot be said of No. 9 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, No. 11 Danielle Collins and No. 18 Marta Kostyuk of the Ukraine. Denmark's Clara Tauson recorded a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 win over Ostapenko, Serbian qualifier Olga Danilovic notched a 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-4 upset over Collins and Donna Vekic secured a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Kostyuk.

Russian teen Mirra Andreeva beat former World No. 1 and 19th seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in the last match of a day marred by rain delays. The match, which lasted two hours and 31 minutes, ended just after 1 a.m. local time Friday morning.

Andreeva, 17, advanced to face the United States' Peyton Stearns, who upset 10th seed Daria Kasatkina of Russia, 7-5, 6-2.

In another upset, Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania swept past Czech 27th seed Linda Noskova 6-4, 6-2. Also, Ana Bodgan of Romania knocked off 20th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, 6-4, 6-4. Canadian Bianca Andreescu overcame a first-set loss to oust 23rd seed Anna Kalinskaya of Russa, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Other seeded players to advance on Thursday were No. 7 Zheng Qinwen of China, No. 12 Jasmine Paolini of Italy, No. 14 Madison Keys, No. 15 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, Russian No. 17 Liudmila Samsonova, No. 22 Emma Navarro, No. 30 Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine, No. 31 Leylah Fernandez of Canada and No. 32 Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic.

--Field Level Media