Swiatek shines in 51-minute French Open blitz as Gauff ends Andreeva run

PARIS-World number one and defending champion Iga Swiatek took just 51 minutes to reach the French Open fourth round on Saturday as Coco Gauff ended 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva’s memorable Paris debut.
Swiatek blitzed 80th-ranked Wang Xinyu of China 6-0, 6-0 on the back of 21 winners as the 22-year-old Pole took another step closer to becoming the first woman since Justine Henin in 2007 to win back-to-back titles at Roland Garros. Of the six sets she has played so far, four have been to love. In all she has dropped just eight games through three rounds.
“It was a really solid performance from me. It’s not easy to stay disciplined and keep your focus,” said Swiatek. “I took care of everything and I’m pretty happy with my performance.”
Swiatek, who also won the title in 2020 and is targeting a fourth Grand Slam triumph, will face either 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu or Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko for a quarter-final berth. 
Her path to the final was made easier earlier Saturday by the withdrawal of Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, a possible last-four opponent, due to illness. Rybakina had been due to face Sara SorribesTormo of Spain in the third round in the opening match on Court Philippe Chatrier but said she was suffering with a fever. 
SorribesTormo, ranked 132 in the world, will be playing in the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time. She will face either Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia or Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia for a place in the quarterfinals. World number six Gauff, the runner-up to Swiatek last year, came back from a set down to defeat Andreeva 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-1.
Andreeva, ranked a lowly 143, had come through qualifying and was the youngest player to make the third round since 2005. Gauff, 19, will face either fellow American Kayla Day or Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia for a place in the quarter-finals. Despite pocketing the first set, Andreeva collected a code violation for petulantly swiping a ball into the Court Suzanne Lenglen crowd.
Casper Ruud, the runner-up to Rafael Nadal in 2022, dropped the first set before easing to a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 win against China’s Zhang Zhizhen. The 26-year-old Zhang was bidding to become the first Chinese man since 1936 to reach the fourth round in Paris. Ruud will next face in-form Nicolas Jarry after the Chilean edged out Marcos Giron of the United States 6-2, 6-3, 6-7 (7/9), 6-3. Also featuring in the second week for the first time will be 49th-ranked Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina who stunned 15th seed Borna Coric 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2.  Etcheverry will next face Japanese 27th seed Yoshihito Nishioka who edged a dramatic five-set battle 3-6, 7-6 (10/8), 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 with qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild to reach the fourth round for the first time. Danish world number six Holger Rune eased through, seeing off 231st-ranked Argentinian qualifier Genaro Alberto Olivieri 6-4, 6-1, 6-3.

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