The upsets came to an almost complete halt, a rarity on the 2016 WTA tour, as four Top 10 seeds and 11 of 12 seeds in action moved into the third round on Wednesday at Roland Garros.
In fact only two seeded winners were stretched as No. 24 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova outlasted Turkey’s Cagla Buyukakcay 6-3, 4-6, 6-1, and No. 25 Irina-Camelia Begu weathered the big-hitting onslaught of American Coco Vandeweghe 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 10-8. The only upset occurred when Belgian Yanina Wickmayer found her former form with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 27 Ekaterina Makarova.
Top 10-seeded winners in action were No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska having a surprisingly easy time with France’s Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-4, No. 4 Garbine Muguruza dominating French wildcard Myrtille Georges 6-2, 6-0, No. 6 Simona Halep navigating a gritty Zarina Diyas 7-6(5), 6-2, and No. 10 Petra Kvitova handling Taipei’s Hsieh Su-Wei 6-4, 6-1.
“I think I play really good two matches,” said Radwanska, who will next face No. 30 seed Barbora Strycova, after defeating the homecountry favorite Garcia. “Especially this one. I think this was really a tough one. I’m just very pleased that I could close that match in two sets, that’s for sure.”
Halep started slow against the flat-hitting Diyas.
“First set she was hitting all the balls and very flat, so the ball didn’t bounce too much,” said Halep, who will next meet Japan’s Naomi Osaka. “I stayed a little bit too far from court. But in the end I found the rhythm. I found the way to play aggressive, to dominate the game, and I finished it in two sets.”
Muguruza will next face the upset-minded Wickmayer.
“It was not an easy match, especially playing a French player at home,” said Muguruza after beating Georges, who is ranked outside the Top 200. “I did not know her at all, and throughout the match I had to really build my strategy to beat her. It wasn’t easy, and at the same time I think she was a little nervous. I guess I was nervous a little, too, but it helped me.”
Other seeded winners were No. 11 Lucie Safarova, No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova, No. 19 Sloane Stephens, and No. 21 Sam Stosur, all straight-set winners.
The No. 25 seed Begu, who has beaten Muguruza and Azarenka on clay this year, will next face German riser Annika Beck, who was a three-set winner over Kateryna Bondarenko.
Unseeded American Shelby Rogers was a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Russian Elena Vesnina, setting up a meeting with the No. 10 Kvitova. Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova edged Johanna Larsson 7-5, 7-6(6), booking a meeting with the No. 19 seed Stephens.
Matches to look for on Thursday at Roland Garros are (8) Timea Bacsinszky vs. Genie Bouchard, (1) Serena Williams vs. Brazil’s Teliana Pereira, (9) Venus Williams vs. countrywoman Louisa Chirico, (18) Elina Svitolina vs. former world No. 1 junior Taylor Townsend, and (22) Dominika Cibulkova vs. former world No. 1 junior Ana Konjuh.
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