Another day another Top 10 seed fell in the French Open women’s draw.
No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina was ushered out of the French Open by the hot-handed Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 6-2 to reach her second straight fourth round at the event.
Svitolina, who finished her clay season 6-4, is the seventh Top 10 seed to bow out. Krejcikova has now won her last eight matches including a title at Strasbourg. Previously known for her doubles, she’s become a factor in singles.
“I really think that playing a lot of doubles actually and playing a lot of also mixed doubles, playing the big courts, playing all these big stadiums, I think that’s what’s helping me right now,” Krejcikova said. “But I actually never really played here singles, but I have some kind of experience from doubles, which it’s always nice. So then when I go on the court and I know that I’m playing big court, big player, I know that already have some kind of experience.
“I think that’s really good. That’s really something good for me, and that’s how I think that doubles is actually helping my singles career a lot.”
The Czech will now face former finalist Sloane Stephens who ripped through Australian Open semifinalist Karolina Muchova 6-3, 7-5. Stephens, who made the 2018 final losing to Simona Halep in 3, was in trouble in the first round to Carla Suarez Navarro, but has since been in form.
“I took the time to get myself together, find what makes me happy on court, and kind of find my groove back,” Sloane said of her better form. “Obviously results didn’t happen right away, but I knew eventually things would connect, and it’s nice that obviously since Charleston they have started to come together.
“I think for me putting in the time, obviously since I came back from Australia I’ve obviously been putting the work in physically and on the court. It kind of takes a while to get that back I feel like and get back to where you want to be.
“Not all of the most amazing results that I have wanted to have, but slowly, like, getting back and building to where I want to be.”
In an all-American roller-coaster clash, Sofia Kenin came from a set down to beat tough countrywoman Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
“Was obviously really happy. It was a tough match. It was a lot of ups and downs, emotions. You know, I’m just really happy with the way I’m playing.
“Of course being in the fourth week of a slam is obviously really nice and special, so towards the end it was more emotions.”
Kenin, who has won 9 of her last 10 in Paris, heads in the fourth round against Maria Sakkari who outlasted Elise Mertens in 3.
The marquee all-American clash between Coco Gauff and Jen Brady turned out to be a dub. Brady retired after losing a 20-minute first set 6-1. Brady said she was suffering with a bad foot.
“I have been struggling since Rome,” Brady said. “I actually was considering not even playing here. Just up until the day before, I was, like, Might as well give it a shot. I wasn’t going to step out there unless I could finish the match in the first round. You know, happy that I was able to get a couple of matches in.
“Then today, you know, I woke up and it was, you know, just worse. Yeah, I couldn’t really play my game. I was about 20% moving. Yeah. So unfortunate.”
In her first French fourth round, Gauff moves on to meet Ons Jabuer who knocked out Magda Linette.
“This is I think my second or third, second or third time in the second week of a slam,” Gauff said. “And I will say this is probably, like my journey to it, has probably been the most professional, I guess, like no, you know, unnecessary three-set matches and stuff like that.
“I think that you can tell that I’m improving and making smarter decisions on the court.”
While the upsets have continued, there has been one constant: Iga Swiatek. The 20-year-old resumed her title defense rallying from a set down to the dangerous Anett Kontaveit for a 7-6(4), 6-0 win. Swiatek, who was 0-2 against the Estonian before today, has now won 10 straight at Roland Garros and 20 sets in a row. She’ll be a big favorite on Monday against teen Marta Kostyuk.
“I think I had a late start because not looking at the first games but overall at first set, it was game by game,” Swiatek said. “So if I wouldn’t have got broken in the first game, I think it would just look differently, the score. But I’m really happy that I was consistent, and in tiebreak I could lead pretty easily.
“But in the second set, Anett made more mistakes because I guess that she was staying pretty risky, and in the second,” she said “she just made a lot more mistakes. I think that was a good choice for me to do, just step back a little bit and react quicker because she was playing pretty fast from the beginning. Sometimes I had problems with seeing where she’s going to play, but it wasn’t as hard later.”
Tomorrow, the fourth round begins with a wide open bottom half led by former champion Serena Williams who meets 21-year-old Elena Rybakina in a first-time meeting.
Former finalist Marketa Vondrousova meets the red-hot Paula Badosa and Victoria Azarenka is also on court.
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