Mertens crushes Pegula
The world's number 3 is no longer in the contention after suffering a painful lose to Elise Mertens. The American was a favorite ahead of the match against the Belgian with an odd 1.36, but Mertens was the one who won both their previous meetings. The 28th seed showed a brilliant performance from the start. Mertens won the opening set 6-1, losing just 5 single points during own service games and scoring 9 winners to just 4 unforced errors. The Belgian has dropped the ball a little bit in second set, as Pegula started to create more danger and managed to gain the first break of the match to level the score after two games. Despite creating 4 breakpoints more later on, the 3rd seed did not manage to turn this match over. Mertens broke Pegula two twice since the score 3-3 and clinched her best win of this season so far.
Pegula was uncharacteristically erratic today, making 20 unforced errors in compare to just 13 winners. The American has explained her average performance displayed in Paris due to the food poisoning, suffered a week ago.
Mertens plays against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in 4th round. The runner-up from Roland Garros 2021 prevailed in another back-to-back three-setter against her fellowcountry. Pavlyuchenkova has followed her victory in a thrilling 3 hours battle against Liudmila Samsonova with the victory against Anastasia Potapova. This time, the match was much less dramatic, as Pavlyuchenkova came back from being a set down to force the decider, where she did not give away any single her for her younger opponent. 4-6 6-3 6-0 is the score.
Tears of joy for Avanesyan
Elina Avanesyan lives a fairytale time in Paris. Current world's number 134 reached out the main draw as a lucky loser after losing the final match in decisive set's tiebreak against Kayla Day. The fortune has smiled for the 20 years-old player, but she knew how to help it and advanced into 4th round after an exciting match against peer, Clara Tauson. Third set was quite a rollercoaster there, as Tauson earned the early break in opening game. Avanesyan bounced back to move up into 5-3 lead, but did not manage to serve for the match. The score has leveled into 5-5, despite the Russian had a matchpoint during Tauson's serve in 10th game. The Dane made a crucial hold, but did not prevail to serve under pressure again in 12th game. Avanesyan produced second matchpoint and made converted it to win 3-6 6-1 7-5 eventually. The Russian was clearly moved after the match, as it's her biggest career's success. An amazing run in French Open will lift her up even into the areas of top 80 in the WTA rankings.
Karolina Muchova is another opponent for Avanesyan, after an expected win over Irina Camelia Begu, 6-3 6-2. The Czech will be a favorite of this match, and has a great opportunity to make a deep run in the section of draw which is quite open after the exit of Jessica Pegula. One of the players from the four - Muchova, Avanesyan, Pavlyuchenkova, Mertens - will get a chance to play in the Grand Slam semifinal, just in a few days.
Svitolina back on track
It is less than two months since Elina Svitolina came back from her maternity break, and now the Ukrainian is in the 4th round of Roland Garros and just one win away from a rapid comeback into the top 100 of WTA rankings. Anna Blinkova made some difficult conditions for Svitolina today, as the Ukrainian needed to come back from being a set down and fought her win in tight decider. Svitolina was on the front foot in 3rd set from the start, as she was leading with a break three times. The former world's number 3 needed to serve for the win twice, but made it through finally with a score 2-6 6-2 7-5.
After defeating Blinkova, Svitolina will face another Russian in 4th round, as she faces Daria Kasatkina there. The 9th seed gave no chances for Peyton Stearns, eliminating the American with a surprisingly crushing score 6-0 6-1.
No trouble for Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka did not face any single trouble in this French Open so far. The world's number 2 scored another routine victory this week, defeating Kamilla Rakhimova 6-2 6-2. The Belarusian needed to defend just one breakpoint throughout whole the match. Sabalenka reaches out the 4th round in Paris for the first time in her career, after three consecutive 3rd round loses in previous years. The leader of WTA Race list in 2023 is still in contention for detronizing Iga Swiatek on the world's ranking leader spot. Both are making their job done step by step so far, handling the pressure against lower ranked opponent in the opening rounds.
Sloane Stephens is another opponent for Sabalenka. The US Open 2017 champion has defeated Yulia Putintseva 6-3 3-6 6-2. The American denies the sufficient drop in rankings after defending the points from last year's quarterfinal run. The clay season is really successful for Stephens this year again, as apart from reaching out the round of 16 in Paris, she has also won the WTA 125 challenger in Saint Melo and advanced into semis in WTA 250 Rabat a week ago. Next match against Sabalenka will be a tough challenge, though.