Victoria Azarenka claimed a hard-fought win against Danish teenager Clara Tauson in the second round at the French Open on Wednesday. The 15th-seeded Belarusian defeated Tauson 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 48 minutes. Azarenka went up a break in the opening moments of each set but was broken right back by Tauson.
However, the former world no. 1’s experience proved decisive as she was able to break back in the deciding moments of each set to pocket a straight-sets win. Tauson had 19 winners, one more than Azarenka’s 18 while her game was undone by 32 unforced errors.
Azarenka, on the other hand, had five fewer errors at 27. In the third round, the two-time former Australian Open champion will play 23rd seed Madison Keys. Keys defeated Leylah Fernandez 6-1, 7-5. Daria Kasatkina sprinted away to a quick finish in her second-round match against 10th seed Belinda Bencic.
The Russian dropped just four games – two across each set – to upset the higher-ranked Swiss in an hour and 16 minutes. Kasatkina won 80% of her first-serve points to Bencic’s 68% and didn’t face a single break point across the duration of the match.
She finished with 27 winners to 14 unforced errors. Bencic, on the other hand, had 20 winners and unforced errors each. This is the first time that the Russian has reached the round-of-32 at a Major in almost four years. The last time she played in the third round of a Slam was at Wimbledon in 2018.
For a place in the pre-quarters here in Paris, Kasatkina will play Sorana Cirstea. The Romanian defeated Italian Martina Trevisan 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in their second-round match. Katerina Siniakova upset 29th seed Veronika Kudermetova in their round-of-64 encounter.
The Czech came from 1-5 down and saved two match points in the deciding set to oust the Russian 7-6(7), 5-7, 7-5 in two hours and 52 minutes. In the third round, Siniakova will take on Tamara Zidansek. The Slovenian got past American Madison Brengle 6-4, 6-1 in 65 minutes.
French Open: Paula Badosa's splendid march continues
Zidansek’s compatriot, Polona Hercog also reached the third round. Hercog ousted France’s Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-4 and will play 20th seed Marketa Vondrousova next.
Vondrousova, the 2019 French Open finalist, was among the early winners at Roland Garros on Wednesday. The Czech needed just 62 minutes to claim a 6-1, 6-3 win over France’s wildcard entrant, Harmony Tan. Danielle Collins notched a quick 6-0, 6-2 win over Anhelina Kalinina in their second-round meeting.
The American needed just 62 minutes to wrap up the proceedings, and in the next round awaits either seventh seed Serena Williams or Mihaela Buzarnescu. Paula Badosa toppled Danka Kovinic 6-2, 6-0 and the 33rd-seeded Spaniard needed just 52 minutes to complete the win.
Badosa finished with 16 winners and six unforced errors while Kovinic hit just nine winners but had thrice the number of unforced errors as Badosa in 18. In the third round, Badosa will face Ana Bogdan who received a walkover into the third round following the withdrawal of second seed Naomi Osaka from the French Open.