French Open: Stephens through to fourth round, Krejcikova upsets Svitolina

Sloane Stephens
Sloane Stephens. File photo: Reuters

Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens overcame an attacking Karolina Muchova at the French Open on Saturday, ousting the Czech 18th seed with a 6-3, 7-5 victory and progressing to the fourth round.

Former world No. 3 Stephens, who reached the final at Roland Garros in 2018, has slipped down the rankings to 59th currently. But the 28-year-old's experience and consistency enabled her to fend off the challenge from Muchova, four years her junior.

Australian Open semifinalist Muchova had plenty of problems on her serve in the early stages of the match, and a lone break in the fourth game was enough for the American, who won her home major in 2017, to take the opening set on the Simonne Mathieu court.

After a double exchange of breaks in the second set, Stephens then took a third break to seal the win and set up a clash against Czech Barbora Krejcikova who beat fifth seed Elina Svitolina in the third round.

Barbora Krejcikova
Barbora Krejcikova exults after beating Elina Svitolina. Photo: AFP

Krejcikova won 6-3, 6-2 as the big names in the women's draw continued to fall at the claycourt Grand Slam.

Roland Garros is already without its top three women's seeds, and Ukrainian Svitolina joined them after failing to find a way to rein in the 25-year-old Krejcikova's power-packed, attacking game in their first meeting.

Continuing her form from a title-winning run in Strasbourg ahead of the French Open, Krejcikova broke Svitolina's serve three times in each set to cruise to victory on the Philippe Chatrier court.

She hit 38 winners to Svitolina's 20.

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