Tennis: Tennis-Third-seed Sabalenka beats Sasnovich to move into round three


PARIS (Reuters) – Third-seed Aryna Sabalenka littered Court Suzanne Lenglen with dozens of unforced errors but still beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich in their Belarusian battle 7-5 6-3 on Wednesday to move into the third round of the French Open.

Sabalenka, who won her first claycourt title in Madrid last month and also reached the final in Stuttgart to arrive in Paris in superb form, made a total of 34 unforced errors before beating world number 50 Sasnovich.

“I just kept trying. It was not a great level from me today but I fought for every point,” Sabalenka said in a courtside interview. “It was a really tough match.”

The pair traded breaks in the first six games with Sabalenka struggling with a low first serve percentage and Sasnovich having trouble with her opponent’s powerful returns.

A thundering crosscourt forehand put the third seed 6-5 up and she won the first set on her second set point when Sasnovich spilled a forehand long.

Sasnovich broke in the first game of the second set but failed to hold on to her advantage, later double faulting to hand Sabalenka a 5-3 lead.

Sabalenka finished the match on her serve to set up a third round clash against Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis)

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