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French Open 2024: Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina attain fourth spherical at Roland Garros | Tennis Information

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Aryna Sabalenka secured a hard-fought victory over greatest good friend Paula Badosa on the French Open on Saturday, whereas Elena Rybakina joined her within the fourth spherical.

Sabalenka and Spaniard Badosa have loved a robust bond since 2021 however there was no quarter given because the world No 2 saved alive her hopes of a maiden Roland Garros title with a 7-5 6-1 victory.

Sabalenka got here near dropping her first set of the match. Badosa broke serve 3 times within the opener to guide 5-3 earlier than Sabalenka stormed again to win 4 video games in a row, happening to energy previous her opponent within the second set.


With Aryna Sabalenka becoming a member of Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff and Elena Rybakina, that is the primary time the highest 4 seeds within the ladies’s singles have reached the R16 at Roland Garros since 2013.

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Purple-hot Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka has received 38 out of the final 42 Grand Slam matches performed (90.5%)

Ladies gamers this century to win their first 20 units of the yr at Grand Slam degree: Sabalenka (2024)

Sabalenka has reached no less than the semi-finals of the final six majors

“It is robust to play your greatest good friend,” two-time Australian Open champion Sabalenka stated throughout her on-court interview. “She’s an unbelievable participant, coming again after damage, and I am fairly positive she’s going to be again on high very quickly. It is very robust, however we’re good to separate issues.

“On court docket… I am attempting to not watch the opposite facet, simply to deal with myself and produce my greatest recreation.”

Sabalenka produced an excellent drop to arrange match level and the knockout blow got here within the type of an unforced error from the racket of the unseeded Badosa, however was shortly adopted by a heat hug on the internet.

“Some days it is really getting extra sophisticated to play,” Sabalenka stated of the variability in her recreation.

“You’ve got so many choices, you are pondering an excessive amount of however right now was a day the place I wasn’t pondering that a lot, I used to be simply feeling the sport and I used to be trusting myself and simply was going for all of the photographs.”

Sabalenka, who’s bidding to turn into the primary participant since Serena Williams in 2015 to assert the Australian Open and Roland Garros titles in the identical season, subsequent faces American 14th seed Madison Keys or twenty second seed Emma Navarro.

Rybakina eases previous Belgium’s Mertens

World No 4 Elena Rybakina continued to fly beneath the radar as she loved a routine 6-4 6-2 win over Belgium’s Elise Mertens to ease into the fourth spherical.

Rybakina, a former Wimbledon champion, is seeking to enhance on her greatest efficiency of quarter-finalist on the Paris crimson clay, in 2021.

The Russian-born Kazakh misplaced her serve twice within the first set however maintained the higher hand by breaking all the Belgian’s remaining serves within the set.

Sturdy photographs and higher serving within the second set allowed the 24-year-old Rybakina to finish the match in little over an hour.

“Within the second set I used to be taking part in with a bit extra confidence and my serve improved,” Rybakina stated.

Rybakina’s adaptability

Elena Rybakina is now solely the third participant to achieve a number of Grand Slam R16s on clay and grass court docket because the begin of the 2020 season, after Ons Jabeur and Iga Swiatek.

Gracheva serenaded by native followers with nationwide anthem

Varvara Gracheva celebrated being the final Frenchwoman left within the ladies’s draw

French followers gave a loud rendition of the nationwide anthem “La Marseillaise” for Varvara Gracheva after the Russian-born participant beat Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu in her first Roland Garros as an area since switching nationality final yr.

Gracheva closed out a hard-fought 7-5 6-3 victory and joined within the singing as she celebrated being the final Frenchwoman left within the ladies’s draw.

“I’ll bear in mind this second till the top of my life,” stated Gracheva, who obtained her French passport in 2023 after dwelling within the nation for greater than 5 years. “It implies that everybody accepts me, that I am residence right here.”

Ranked 39 in the beginning of the yr, her greatest profession rating, Gracheva fell to a hundredth place in April after six consecutive tournaments the place she was eradicated within the first spherical.

“At first of the yr I used to be in some despair, I used to be very annoyed,” she stated. “If somebody had advised me that I’d be taking part in on the Suzanne Lenglen I would not have believed it,” she stated with a giant smile.

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