American Coco Gauff came from behind after a tough first set and knocked out Russia’s Mirra Andreeva in a duel between two teenage girls in the third round of the French Open women’s singles on Saturday.
Experience finally had the last word as Gauff, 19 and a finalist last year at Roland-Garros, posted a 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-1 victory, punctuated by a loss winner in match point crossover.
The result ends an impressive first Grand Slam outing for the 16-year-old Russian. Earlier this week, Andreeva became the youngest player since 2005 to win a women’s singles main draw match at the French Open.
Shortly after Gauff’s victory, favorite and defending champion Iga Swiatek also earned her ticket to the fourth round with a quick 6-0, 6-0 victory in 51 minutes against China’s Xinyu Wang.
In three outings so far at Roland-Garros, Swiatek has conceded only eight games and won 19 consecutive games.
In the round of 16, Swiatek will face Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko, who easily beat Canada’s Bianca Andreescu in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 on Saturday.
In a match that lasted just 62 minutes, the Canadian suffered a crushing 6-1, 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Ukrainian.
This setback sounded the death knell for Canadian singles representation at Roland-Garros, for both women and men.
On Friday, Denis Shapovalov also suffered elimination without winning a single round, against world number one Carlos Alcaraz.
Faced with a rival aged 34 and holder of 66e rank in the WTA rankings, Andreescu was outperformed on all counts except for first-serve success rate (64 percent versus 49 percent).
Still, Andreescu won just 38 percent of the points after slotting her first ball in play, compared to 63 percent for the Ukrainian. For the match as a whole, Andreescu won just 16 out of 45 points on his serve, for a 36 percent save percentage.
Andreescu committed a grand total of 22 unforced errors and three double faults, to compare with six game winners and no aces. She faced six break points in seven service games and saved none.
A sign, perhaps, of the fate that awaited him, Andreescu lost the opening game of the match on his serve by conceding four straight points after taking a 40-15 lead.
Four games later, back on her serve, the Canadian gave herself a 40-0 cushion before losing the next five points, and the game, giving Tsurenko a 4-1 lead in the first set. .
Andreescu gave his supporters hope by breaking Tsurenko’s serve to start the second set. However, the Ukrainian gave her back in the next game and added breaks in the fourth and sixth games of the set.
Kazakh Elena Rybakina, reigning Wimbledon champion, withdrew from the tournament before her third round match on Saturday because she is ill.
“I just wanted to give 100 per cent, and obviously I’m nowhere near 100 per cent,” Rybakina said.
“If I can’t breathe, there’s no way I can even run and try to wrestle. »
The fourth seed in the women’s singles in Paris, Rybakina was due to face Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo, ranked 132nd in the world, in the first match of the day on the court of the Philippe-Chatrier stadium.
The duel was due to start at 11:45 a.m. CET, but instead Rybakina sat behind a microphone during a press conference to explain why she was withdrawing from the second of four Grand Slam tournaments. of the season.
Speaking as if congested, Rybakina said she was feverish, hadn’t slept well the past two nights and had difficulty breathing during a Saturday warm-up session before her match. She added that a doctor told her that a virus was circulating “here in Paris”.
Rybakina’s withdrawal ensures 26-year-old Sorribes Tormo will enter the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in his career.
Ruud and Rune in the fourth round
Finalist at Roland-Garros against Rafael Nadal last year in Paris, Norway’s Casper Ruud came from behind to defeat China’s Zhang Zhizhen 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in a duel of the third round played on the court of the Suzanne-Lenglen stadium.
“I’m happy to have made it through the first three games. It’s difficult. There’s a lot more pressure, for sure, this year compared to last year,” Ruud said.
“Last year, added the Norwegian, I could do my job in the shadows. This year, the eyes are a little more turned towards me. […] I feel the pressure is a little different this year. »
Zhang broke service in the opening game and won the first set, frustrating his fourth-seeded rival.
Things didn’t look set to improve for Ruud, who found himself down 0-40 on his serve early in the second set. However, the Norwegian regained his composure and was able to win the second run.
He upped his game in the next two sets and ended the duel with a forehand parallel to his first match point.
In the next round, Ruud will face Chilean Nicolas Jarry, who knocked out American Marcos Giron in four sets as well.
Things were a bit less complicated for sixth-seeded Denmark’s Holger Rune, who defeated Argentina’s Genaro Alberto Olivieri, a qualifying player ranked 231st in the world, in three sets, 6-4, 6- 1, 6-3.
In the round of 16, Rune will battle Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo, 23e seed, which upset ninth-seeded American Taylor Fritz in four sets 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.
At the end of the day, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, No. 28, beat Germany’s Daniel Altmaier 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.