Sabalenka, Pegula Advance To French Open 3R, Garcia Blinks; Swiatek, Rybakina, Gauff Back Thu.

by Staff | May 31st, 2023, 7:51 pm

Bottom half favorites Aryna Sabalenka and Jessica Pegula eased into the French Open third round on Wednesday.

Sabalenka improved to 9-0 in Slams this year taking out qualifier Iryna Shymanovich 7-5, 6-2.

“I’m super happy to get this win,” Sabalenka said after. “I think the first set I didn’t play my best, and I’m super happy that no matter what I was able to stay calm and I was able to fight for every point to get this win.”

American No. 1 Pegula didn’t have to play a full match as Camila Giorgi retired in the second down 6-2.

“I thought today was going to be a very long day but actually ended up being a quicker day than I was expecting, which is always good, especially if you’re winning,” Pegula said.

“It’s very windy out today, different conditions, but the sun is out and I feel like the clay is playing very nice. A little quicker when the sun is out as well but tricky conditions with the wind today, for sure.”

But another high seed fell and unfortunately for the home fans it was Caroline Garcia. The French No. 1 couldn’t hold a set and a break lead as Anna Blinkova won it 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. The Russian needed nine match points to collect her first career Top 5 win.

“She managed the crowd very well and kept very calm after having so many match points,” Garcia said.

“Obviously very disappointing with the result and to be out of the tournament in the second round and I wanted to do more, but it’s tennis.”

2022 NCAA champion from Texas Peyton Stearns earned her first Slam third round shocking former winner Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.

In other action, 2022 semifinalist Daria Kasatkina sent off former runner-up Marketa Vondrousova 6-3, 6-4. Yulia Putintseva upended No. 19 seed Qinwen Zheng in three 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. No. 24 seed Anastasia Potapova bested Mayar Sherif of Egypt 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. No. 27 seed Irina-Camelia Begu eased past former finalist and 36-year-old Sara Errani 6-3, 6-0.

Former finalist Sloane Stephens continues to look good as she routed Russia’s Varvara Gracheva in straights 6-2, 6-1. Stephens has won 11 of her last 12.

Karolina Muchova is also dangerous as she overcame former semifinalist Nadia Podoroska 6-3, 0-6, 6-3. Clara Tauson had to work to defeat Leylah Fernandez 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in a battle of 20-year-olds. One-time runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova ousted the 15th-seeded Liudmila Samsonova in a match that went the distance 4-6, 7-5, 7-5. And Elina Svitolina won her seventh straight match topping Storm Hunter 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.

The Ukrainian star was still on a high after her husband’s big win last night.

“Yes, I watched him, but not live,” Svitolina said. “I was screaming in my room so if someone heard me it’s me cheering for Gael.

“It was an unbelievable match and I don’t know actually what he’s doing here now. I think he should be resting but I’m really thankful for him coming to support me, especially in this tough match.”

Tomorrow, the second round wraps up with No. 1 Iga Swiatek squaring off against American Claire Liu. Swiatek took their only previous battle in the 2023 Indian Wells R64.

No. 4 Elena Rybakina takes on Czech teen Linda Noskova, No. 6 Coco Gauff meets Rabat finalist Julia Grabher, No. 7 Ons Jabeur clashes with Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin and former semifinalist No. 20 Madison Keys collides with countrywoman Kayla Day.

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8 Comments for Sabalenka, Pegula Advance To French Open 3R, Garcia Blinks; Swiatek, Rybakina, Gauff Back Thu.

Wog Boy Says:

Good on Sabalenka for refusing to do press conference, enough is enough, she came to Paris to play tennis and not to answer political and provocative questions 🇧🇾 👍

Okiegal Says:

No presser for Sabalenka?? That will come back to bite her. I like her and her tenacity on court. Right now I am remembering how the no presser worked out for Naomi?? You get the press on your case, and they can make life miserable for you……😩😩😩

Wog Boy Says:

Not comparable at all, Sabalenka was harassed by the same Ukrainian reporter from the very first press conference who was asking the questions about the war during every single one and went that far that even press conference moderator had to step in and deny Ukrainian reporter right to ask more questions.

Sabalenka is happy to talk about tennis, but not to be bullied and harassed, it’s up to FO organisers to sort out that particular one reporter.

Van Persie Says:


Maybe we should have tennis tournaments only for “NATO and friends” , in order to avoid all of this… Russians, Belorusoanns and non NATO countries are pretty much winning everything atm😂

Van Persie Says:

Belorussians, correction!

skeezer Says:

Since when are players allowed to wear devices on their chest? I have questions. Does this enhance performance? Does it help convert something into more energy?

chrisford1 Says:

Skeezer – Novak explained it is a nuclear arc reactor like Iron Man has, giving him nearly unlimited energy and powering his superior nanotechnology. Or, the more likely truth is that it is Novax’s latest foray into medical quackery.

Rafa surgery! Will be out 6 months recuperating, but he already told the ATP, media, and his fans that he is done with 2023.
I hope the end of Andy and the Big 3 will not see them all in wheelchairs or even walking with the help of a can in 20 years.

On the matter of Ukrainians harassing Sabelenka, it has been going on for a while. Before this “journalist” the coach of Tsurenko, Nikita Vlasov, berated her on 2022 about the war then a big blowup at Indian Wells. Which led to a come to Jesus moment between Vlasov and the WTA. Which is get in Sabalenka’s face again in the media or in the locker room about war and being a war criminal and the WTA will boot him for a year or more. Militant Ukies have raided her fan site and made threats, got access to texting Sabalenka. After Kostyuk -a Ukrainian player urged reporters to ask Sabalenka to condemn the war on Sunday, a Ukie stringer determined it was her patriotic duty to berate Sabalenka in two consecutive press conferences with political questions, demand Sabalenk denounce her country and leadership – a journalist doing politics, not tennis coverage.

I am fine with a “little politics” or remarks on events definitely affecting the sport, like the Covid mess. But not with bans on nations from competing for some “offense”, or activist swine getting in the faces of players, level of harassment. Kind of like Iga Swiatek wearing Ukrainian bling or Novak rightly ripping the attempted power grab in Kosovo by putting Serbian towns in N Kosovo under Muslim Albanian mayors and administrations.

zed Says:

When they ban American players for the warcrimes commited by the USA then we can talk, before then all these tools need to STFU.

I still remember the selfies taken by American prison-guard soldiers with the people they were torturing. People with hoods over their heads, electrodes attached to them with their hands tied behind their backs and the American personnel laughing at the camera as they took the selfies with the tortured, bound and gagged prisoners.

Did Wimbeldon ban any American players? Did “journalists” harass American tennis players during interviews? Nope, none of those things happened.

Hypocritical filth the lot of them.

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