Tennis: More big names out as Krejcikova beats fifth seed Svitolina in French Open

Barbora Krejcikova (left) and Elina Svitolina shake hands at the end of their women's singles third round tennis match at the French Open in Paris, on June 5, 2021.
Barbora Krejcikova (left) and Elina Svitolina shake hands at the end of their women's singles third round tennis match at the French Open in Paris, on June 5, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP, REUTERS) - Barbora Krejcikova knocked fifth seed Elina Svitolina out of the French Open on Saturday (June 5), leaving only three of the women's top 10 seeds left in the tennis tournament.

The Czech reached the last 16 for the second successive year with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the Ukrainian and goes on to face former US Open champion Sloane Stephens for a place in the quarter-finals.

Fourth seed Sofia Kenin rallied from a set down to book a place in the fourth round, defeating fellow American Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

Eighth-seeded defending champion Iga Swiatek overcame an early break to defeat Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit and reach the last 16.

The Pole won 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 to stretch her record of straight-sets victories at Roland Garros to 10 matches.

Swiatek reeled off 11 of the last 13 games and will face Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk for a place in the quarter-finals.

“She had a fast start and I was late getting going,” said Swiatek, who had lost both her previous matches to Kontaveit.

Serena Williams, seeded seventh, plays her last-16 match on Sunday.

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 and set up a fourth-round clash against Stephens, who ousted Czech 18th seed Karolina Muchova with a 6-3, 7-5 victory.

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 semi-finalist 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.

Kenin, who finished runner-up to Swiatek last year, made a bright start to take a 3-0 lead before unforced errors crept into her game, allowing Pegula to find her rhythm and draw level at 4-4.

Pegula, whose only WTA title came in 2019, showed incredible court coverage as she broke her opponent for the third time for a 5-4 lead before serving out the opening set.

But Kenin roared back, dropping just one game in the second set and pushing Pegula around the court with pinpoint groundstrokes.

The 2020 Australian Open champion carried the momentum into the final set as she broke Pegula twice in the opening three games before serving out the final game, booking a spot in the second week of the tournament.

In the men's draw, Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti defeated compatriot Marco Cecchinato in five sets to reach the last 16 on his Grand Slam debut, setting up a potential clash with Novak Djokovic.

The 19-year-old overcame 2018 Roland Garros semi-finalist Cecchinato 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 after taking his fifth match point, to become only the sixth man since 2000 to make the fourth round at his first major.