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French Open: Women’s draw is wide open

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Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova celebrates after winning against Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka during their women’s singles third round tennis match on Day 6 of The Roland Garros 2021 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 4, 2021. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP)


Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, defeated the third seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 6/4; 2/6; 6/0. American Sofia Kenin, seeded fourth and compatriot Serena Williams seeded seventh are the only top ten players left, after the earlier exits of Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka.

In the first set, Aryna won the first game, broke Anastasia’s serve and held for 3-0. Anastasia held serve for 3-1 and won four straight games to lead 5-3. Aryna held serve in the ninth game while her opponent served out the set, 6/4.

Sabalenka returned from a bathroom break and won the first game of the second set with an ace. She won the third and fifth games to lead 3-2. Pavlyuchenkova conceded a break and her opponent took the eighth game and set, 6/2.

Anastasia received off-court medical treatment and returned with her left thigh taped. Sabalenka double-faulted twice and lost the first game of the third set.

In the second game, she lost a break opportunity when she returned a second serve out. Thereafter, it was downhill for the Belarusian who committed her seventh double fault in losing the third game and missed consecutive service returns for 4-0. After she missed an easy forehand to lose the fifth game, Aryna hit a ball into the stands. She lost the sixth game and the match, when a net-cord gave her an easy ball that she hit over the baseline. Aryana will have to learn that tennis games are lost on errors not won by winning shots.

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