Defending champion Iga Swiatek and last year’s finalist Sofia Kenin came through testing clashes to reach the last 16 while Barbora Krejcikova knocked fifth seed Elina Svitolina out of the French Open on Saturday, leaving only three of the women’s top 10 seeds left in the tournament.
Swiatek overcame an early break to defeat Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. The eighth-seeded Pole won 7-6 (7/4), 6-0 to stretch her record of straight-sets victories at Roland Garros to 10 matches.
Swiatek reeled off 11 of the last 13 games on Saturday and will face Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk for a place in the quarter-finals.
“She had a fast start and I was late getting going,” said Swiatek who had lost both her previous matches to Kontaveit.
Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic reached the last 16 for the second successive year with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over three-time quarter-finalist Svitolina.
World number 33 Krejcikova goes on to face former US Open champion Sloane Stephens for a place in the quarter-finals.
“I am super happy, most of my shots were amazing,” said the Czech who is on an eight-match winning streak after capturing a maiden singles title in Strasbourg last week.
Stephens, the 2018 runner-up in Paris, defeated Czech 18th seed Karolina Muchova 6-3, 7-5.
“Obviously one of my favourite tournaments of the year, so peaking here has always been really important,” said Stephens after making the last 16 for the seventh time.
Fourth seed Sofia Kenin, the runner-up in 2020 and the highest seed left, came back to beat fellow American Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
The top three seeds, Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka all failed to get beyond the third round. In all, only four of the top 10 made the third round, the fewest in 20 years.
American 17-year-old Coco Gauff made the last 16 for the first time when compatriot Jennifer Brady retired with a foot injury after dropping the first set.
Later, Maria Sakkari prevailed 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-2 against the 14th seed Elise Mertens in a marathon match. This is the Greek player’s best run at French Open. She will face the highest seed left in the draw, Kenin.
Serena Williams, seeded seventh, plays her last 16 match on Sunday.
Ons Jabeur (TUN x25) bt Magda Linette (POL) 3-6, 6-0, 6-1
Coco Gauff (USA x24) bt Jennifer Brady (USA x13) 6-1 – retired
Sloane Stephens (USA) bt Karolina Muchova (CZE x18) 6-3, 7-5
Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR x5) 6-3, 6-2
Sofia Kenin (USA x4) bt Jessica Pegula (USA x28) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Maria Sakkari (GRE x17) bt Elise Mertens (BEL x14) 7-5, 6-7 (2/7), 6-2
Marta Kostyuk (UKR) bt Varvara Gracheva (RUS) 6-1, 6-2
Iga Swiatek (POL x8) bt Anett Kontaveit (EST x30) 7-6 (7/4), 6-0
French Open women’s last-16 line-up (x denotes seeding):
Ons Jabeur (TUN x25) v Coco Gauff (USA x24)
Sloane Stephens (USA) v Barbora Krejcikova (CZE)
Sofia Kenin (USA x4) v Maria Sakkari (GRE x17)
Marta Kostyuk (UKR) v Iga Swiatek (POL x8)
Serena Williams (USA x7) v Elena Rybakina (KAZ x21)
Victoria Azarenka (BLR x15) v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x31)
Tamara Zidansek (SLO) v Sorana Cirstea (ROM)
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE x20) v Paula Badosa (ESP x33)
With AFP Inputs