PARIS — Defending champion Iga Swiatek continued her imperious, merciless march towards a third French Open title in four years with a 6-0 6-0 humiliation of Wang Xinyu on Saturday to reach the fourth round.
The world number one swept her Chinese opponent aside in 51 minutes with a potential quarter-final clash against Coco Gauff, who she demolished in last year’s final, looming.
Ms. Gauff ended the run of fellow teenager Mirra Andreeva with a 6-7(5) 6-1 6-1 victory, recovering from a tough start against the 16-year-old Russian.
Should they get through the next round against unseeded opponents, Ms. Gauff and Ms. Swiatek will play a re-match of last year’s final in which the American, seeded sixth this year, fell victim to the huge pressure on her shoulders and the metronomic game of the Pole.
Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur overcame a first-set scare against Serbian qualifier Olga Danilovic to prevail 4-6 6-4 6-2 as experience prevailed on court Suzanne Lenglen.
The seventh seed was far from her best, but she did enough to advance as she was cheered by dozens of flag-waving Tunisian fans.
Earlier, the tournament lost one of its main contenders for the women’s title as fourth seed Elena Rybakina pulled out ahead of her third-round meeting with Sara Sorribes Tormo due to illness.
In the men’s draw, Holger Rune took a step closer to becoming Denmark’s first male Grand Slam singles champion when he powered past Argentine qualifier Genaro Alberto Olivieri 6-4 6-1 6-3.
In the distance is a possible repeat of last year’s quarter-finals as Norway’s Casper Ruud overcame a slow start to down Zhang Zhizhen of China 4-6 6-4 6-1 6-4 and reach the fourth round.
Tiafoe’s exit ended US presence in the men’s draw as Taylor Fritz, with the crowd against him again after he shushed them repeatedly following his win against local favorite Arthur Rinderknech. — Reuters