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May 30, 2024 4:17 pm

Aryna Sabalenka breezes into third round of French Open

Aryna Sabalenka

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 notched a 6-2, 6-2 win over Japanese qualifier Moyuka Uchijima 6-2, 6-2 in 62 minutes, while Rybakina 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 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.

In another upset, Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania swept past Czech 27th seed Linda Noskova 6-4, 6-2.

Other seeded players to advance on Thursday were 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

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