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French Open: Rybakina, Paolini, Sabalenka, Andreeva into quarters

By primenewsghana
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World number four Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan sent out a warning to her fellow title contenders as she eased to a 6-4 6-3 victory over Ukraine's Elena Svitolina on Monday to reach her second French Open quarterfinal.

After a sluggish start with both players dropping serve, Russian-born Rybakina raised her level and cruised through the first set.

In the second set, the 29-year-old Svitolina was no match again for Rybakina as the 19th-ranked Ukrainian showed signs of fatigue from the start and lacked precision under the long-awaited sun after a wet first week on the Paris red clay.

The Kazakh said she would need to be more consistent when she plays 15th-ranked Italian Jasmine Paolini who has reached the last eight for the first time.

"It's all about focus now, the matches are getting tougher, the opening also, so I think it's a lot about the consistency, not having so many ups and downs," she said.

Svitolina had reached the quarter-finals four times before, including 2023, but was unable to trouble the former Wimbledon champion.

"I missed my chance, but she's a great player. It's always tricky because you feel like you're so close, but at the same time so far," Svitolina said.

Rybakina withdrew from the French Open last year before her third-round match because of illness.

This season, after winning titles in Brisbane, Abu Dhabi and Stuttgart, Rybakina pulled out of the Italian Open due to health issues.

Rybakina is the only player to beat Iga Swiatek on clay this year, defeating the world number one and three-times French Open champion on her way to the Stuttgart title in April.


Italy's Jasmine Paolini reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 win over unseeded Russian Elina Avanesyan at the French Open on Monday.

World number 15 Paolini had never advanced past the second round at a major until this year, making the last 16 of the Australian Open in January.

The 28-year-old goes on to play former Wimbledon champion Rybakina for a place in the semifinals.


World number two Aryna Sabalenka pummelled American Emma Navarro 6-2 6-3 in just over an hour to march into the quarterfinals with an emphatic performance that kept her on course for her first title in Paris.

Navarro had stunned the Belarusian at Indian Wells in March but Sabalenka broke her to love at the very start and followed that up with another break to race through the first set in 30 minutes.

The Australian Open champion, unbeaten now in 11 straight matches at the majors this year without losing a single set, completely overpowered Navarro with her thundering baseline game and attacked the American's weak second serve at every opportunity.

"It was really tough against her in Indian Wells," Sabalenka said.

"I was ready for a tough match, to fight for any point, for long rallies. I am super happy with the level I played today."

On a day of glorious sunshine in the French capital after days of rain interruptions, Sabalenka got an early break in the second set courtesy of one of her 36 winners to go 2-1 up and leave Navarro with a mountain to climb.

"Definitely with the sun you are feeling positive," Sabalenka said. "It has been raining, now the beautiful conditions. I was just trying to focus on myself and do my best on each point."

The American tried to mix things up, adding more drop shots and changing the pace a bit.

She managed to hang on a little longer but could not avoid the inevitable, with the 26-year-old Belarusian, looking to add to her two Grand Slam titles so far, wrapping up proceedings on her first match point.


Russian teenager Mirra Andreeva became the youngest player to reach the women's quarterfinals at the French Open since 2005 by defeating home hope Varvara Gracheva.

Andreeva downed Moscow-born Gracheva 7-5, 6-2 at Roland Garros to book a last-eight spot at a Grand Slam for the first time.

Aged 17 and 27 days, she is the youngest female player to make the quarters since Bulgarian Sesil Karatantcheva achieved the feat at the age of 15.

Andreeva, who has only dropped one set in the tournament so far, will next face a daunting task up against world number Aryna Sabalenka.