Bianca Andreescu eases into 3rd round of French Open for 1st time in career
Canadian dominates Emma Navarro in straight sets, faces Ukraine's Tsurenko next
Bianca Andreescu beckoned the partisan Court 14 crowd for noise as she looked to put the finishing touches on a second-round win over American wild-card Emma Navarro.
With fans chanting her name, Andreescu picked up a fifth break of the match to complete a 6-1, 6-4 victory and advance to the third round of the clay-court Grand Slam for the first time in her career.
"Support was unreal today, thank you," Andreescu tweeted after the match.
The 22-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., who appears to be over the serious ankle injury she sustained at the Miami Open, is playing at Roland Garros with a passion reminiscent of her 2019 U.S. Open victory and rise to No. 4 in the WTA rankings.
Coming off an impressive win over 18th-seed Victoria Azarenka in the first round, Andreescu was dominant much of Thursday. The world No. 42 breezed through the first set in 29 minutes, winning 80 per cent of total service points without facing break point.
WATCH | Andreescu downs Navarro:
Navarro, the world No. 75 making her French Open debut, played much better to start the second set by mimicking Andreescu. She matched the Canadian's trademark aggressiveness and kept her opponent guessing by mixing up her shot selection, ultimately getting her first break to go up 3-2 in the set.
The American served to love to consolidate the break and go up 4-2, but with a chance to tie the next game at 30 with Andreescu at her mercy, Navarro mis-hit the ball and sent it into the net.
Navarro hit the ball long in the next game while facing double break point, eliciting an exclamation of "Come on!" from a fired-up Andreescu.
After a confident hold to go up 5-4, the Canadian iced things when Navarro fired the ball into the net after a brief rally on match point.
Andreescu will face Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko in the third round. Tsurenko advanced via walkover in her second-round match against Lauren Davis of the United States.
Tsurenko, ranked 66th in the world, and Andreescu met for the first time in the semifinals of the Thailand Open in February. Andreescu withdrew from the match with a shoulder injury trailing Tsurenko 7-5, 4-0.
Fernandez advances in women's doubles
In women's doubles action Thursday, it was a split result for Canada in a pair of close matches.
Tenth seeds Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., and American Taylor Townsend continued their promising partnership with a 7-5, 7-6 (3) win over Italy's Sara Errani and Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the U.S., while Vancouver's Rebecca Marino and China's Zhu Lin fell 7-5, 7-5 to the Chinese tandem of Xu Yifan and Yang Zhaoxuan.
Fernandez and Townsend will next face Estonia's Ingrid Neel and Taiwan's Fang-Hsien Wu on Friday. Eighth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski of Ottawa and Luisa Stefani of Brazil are set to take on Hungary's Dalma Galfi and Poland's Katarzyna Piter in another second-round doubles match.
Andreescu joined fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the third round. The men's 26th seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., faces a daunting task Friday with world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz lying in wait.
Rybakina, Andreeva advance
Meanwhile, Elena Rybakina's comfort on clay improved as she eased into the third round by beating another Czech Republic teenager.
The Wimbledon champion, the No. 4 seed at Roland Garros, beat 18-year-old Linda Noskova 6-3, 6-3 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
"I cannot say that here it's easy for me. It's still every match getting better and better," Rybakina said on court. "It was a bit slippery for me today, I don't know why."
Rybakina, who beat Brenda Fruhvirtova in the first round, will face Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo in the third round.
Also, 143rd-ranked Mirra Andreeva made her way through qualifying rounds last week without dropping a set to earn her debut berth in the women's bracket at a Grand Slam tournament — and she still is making things look easy so far at Roland Garros.
A 6-1, 6-2 victory over Diane Perry of France in 77 minutes on Thursday put her in the third round; that followed a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Alison Riske-Amritraj of the U.S. that lasted 56 minutes.
Next up will be a contest against 2022 French Open runner-up Coco Gauff, who beat Julia Grabher 6-2, 6-3. Gauff, a 19-year-old American, is seeded No. 6 and made her initial breakthrough by beating Venus Williams en route to the fourth round at Wimbledon at age 14.
Andreeva and Gauff have practiced together, but that won't mean much Saturday.
She's played terrifically clean tennis so far, including making a total of 15 unforced errors to 38 for Parry and winning 14 of 21 points that lasted at least nine strokes.
In the match before Andreeva vs. Perry at Court Simonne Mathieu, another qualifier made it to the third round when Kayla Day, a Californian ranked 138th, knocked out No. 20 Madison Keys 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Keys, the runner-up at the 2017 U.S. Open and a semifinalist at the 2018 French Open, made 74 unforced errors, 51 more than Day.
Day, 23, is playing in a major tournament for the first time since 2017 after a litany of injuries — she listed a torn thigh muscle, a fractured foot, torn hip labrums and a bout with mononucleosis.
"Every time I tried coming back," Day said, "it just felt like something else would happen."
Swiatek, Jabeur, Ruud among other winners
The series of losses by seeded women continued with Bernarda Pera defeating No. 22 Donna Vekic 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, although No. 1 Iga Swiatek and No. 7 Ons Jabeur advanced in straight sets along with Rybakina.
The men's bracket saw the departure of No. 8 Jannik Sinner with a wild 6-7 (0), 7-6 (7), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5 loss across nearly 5-½ hours against 79th-ranked Daniel Altmaier, and No. 18 Alex de Minaur was eliminated by Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3.
No. 4 Casper Ruud, No. 12 Frances Tiafoe and No. 15 Borna Coric all won.
Sinner held two match points while serving for the victory at 5-4 in the fourth set but couldn't convert either. Altmaier came all the way back to end things with a 111 mph ace on his fifth match point.
"I don't know if you can call it a historical match," Altmaier said as he wiped away tears, "but I think it was one to remember."
With files from The Associated Press