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Aryna Sabalenka storms ahead

Updated on: 29 May,2024 06:13 AM IST  |  Paris
AFP |

World No. 2 registers 6-1, 6-2 win over Russian teen Erika Andreeva; World No. 7 Casper Ruud enters Round Two

Aryna Sabalenka storms ahead

Aryna Sabalenka during her first round win over Erika Andreeva at the French Open in Paris yesterday. Pics/AFP

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World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka overpowered Russian teenager Erika Andreeva in straight sets to reach the French Open second round on Tuesday. 


The Australian Open champion, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2023, won 6-1, 6-2 against her 19-year-old opponent under the roof of Court Philippe Chatrier after 68 minutes. 


Power-packed win


Sabalenka fired 27 winners past the 100th-ranked Andreeva and broke serve five times in a dominant display and goes on to face either Irene Burillo Escorihuela of Spain or Japan’s Moyuka Uchijima. “I’m trying to do well on clay, it is tough conditions here but I enjoy playing here and I’m just trying to bring my best tennis every time—whatever the surface,” said Sabalenka.

Sabalenka has made at least the last four at her past six Grand Slams and is expected to be Iga Swiatek’s toughest rival in the Pole’s bid for a fourth French Open title. 

Elena Rybakina and Casper Ruud Elena Rybakina and Casper Ruud 

Heavy rain caused play on the outside, uncovered courts to be delayed by five hours and by 6 pm local time only nine of the scheduled 40 matches had been completed. Swiatek defeated Sabalenka in the finals of Madrid and Rome in the build-up to the French Open.

Elena Rybakina powered into the French Open second round with a straight-sets victory over Belgian Greet Minnen on Tuesday. 

The former Wimbledon champion wrapped up a 6-2, 6-3 success in only 73 minutes and will next face either three-time Grand Slam champion.

Angelique Kerber or Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus. “Really happy to be back and compete here,” said Rybakina, who withdrew ahead of the third round last year due to illness. Kazakh World No. 4 Rybakina is the only player to defeat tournament favourite Swiatek on clay this season, in the Stuttgart semi-finals in April.

Comfortable win for Ruud

Norway’s Casper Ruud started his bid for a maiden title, after final defeats in each of the past two years, with a comfortable win against Brazilian qualifier Felipe Meligeni Alves. 

World No. 7 Ruud, who won clay-court titles in Barcelona and Geneva in the build-up to Roland Garros, cruised to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 victory and will next face either Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain or Monegasque qualifier Valentin Vacherot. “It’s great to be back here at Roland Garros,” he said. “Hopefully I can make it another good year here.” 

Ruud was beaten in straight sets by Novak Djokovic in last year’s final following a one-sided loss to Rafael Nadal in the 2022 showpiece. He also lost the 2022 US Open final to Carlos Alcaraz. 

Cornet cries watching Rafa

Frenchwoman Alize Cornet’s career ended with a straight-sets defeat by Zheng Qinwen in her record-extending 69th consecutive Grand Slam appearance. Cornet was no match for China’s Australian Open runner-up Zheng, losing 6-2, 6-1. “I already cried yesterday watching Rafa,” said a tearful Cornet after seeing Nadal lose what was likely his last match at the French Open on Monday. 

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