– Photo: Social Media
World number three American tennis player Jessica Pegula’s dream of winning her first Grand Slam was shattered by Belgium’s Elise Mertens with a 6-1, 6-3 upset victory in the third round of the French Open. At the same time, the world’s number two female tennis player Aryana Sabalenka entered the fourth round on Friday. In the third round match, she defeated Russia’s Kamila Rakhimova in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.
In the men’s section, last-time runner-up Casper Ruud defeated qualifier Giulio Zepiri of Italy 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. Rudd will next face China’s Zhang Zhizhen, who beat qualifier Thiago Agustin of Argentina 7-6, 6-3, 6-4. He became the first player from China since 1937 to reach the third round of Roland Garros. Alexander Zverev of Germany also reached the third round.
Pegula did not have the answer to Mertens
In the women’s section, the 29-year-old Pegula had no answer to Mertens’ varied play. Mertens, the former world number one in doubles, used excellent forehands, drop shots, powerful groundstrokes. The Belgian, ranked 28th in the world, raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set with two break points and won the first set in 26 minutes. Pegula took a break point in the second set but Mertens equalized in the very next game. Pegula’s backhand was tangled on the net. Mertens took a 5-3 lead and sealed the match. She will next face 2021 runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who returned from injury to beat 24th seed Anastasia Potapova 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.
In the other match on the Phillips Chatrier court, Sabalenka rode on a strong serve under bright sunshine to take a 3-0 lead with a break point in the opening set. Now she will face the winner of the match between America’s Sloane Stephens and Yulia Putintseva. Sabalenka, who defeated world number one Inga Swiatek at the Madrid Open last month, is yet to drop a set in the tournament. She had never progressed past the third round in Rolangero before. For the last three times, she has been eliminated here in the third round. He looked in complete control of the match, coming down to break point only once but he saved it with an ace on his second serve.
Radukanu parted ways with coach Sebastian
Britain’s Ema Radukanu will no longer train with her coach Sebastian Sach. Radukanu, who became the US Open champion two years ago, said that I learned a lot under Sebastian’s coaching and enjoyed the game, but now the situation has become such that it will be difficult for both of us to work together further. We have decided to separate amicably.
Sebastian was Radukanu’s fifth coach in two years. Emma said that I wish Sebastian all the best for the future. Radukanu has not appeared on the court since April due to injury. She hasn’t made it to the French Open and is unlikely to make it to Wimbledon. He says that it has taken time to get fully fit. Radukanu became a star two years ago when she won the US Open at the age of 18 and became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam.