French Open: Kenin, Svitolina move into third round

Kenin made 18 unforced errors in an unconvincing first-set display but broke decisively in the 11th game and marched onto a straight sets win over Hailey Baptiste.

The fourth seed, who has been struggling this season, notably losing all of her three matches on clay before Roland Garros, will next face another American, 28th seed Jessica Pegula.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Last year's runner-up Sofia Kenin eased into the third round of the French Open with a 7-5 6-3 victory over fellow American Hailey Baptiste on Thursday as her claycourt form continued to improve.

The fourth seed, who has been struggling this season, notably losing all of her three matches on clay before Roland Garros, will next face another American, 28th seed Jessica Pegula.

Kenin made 18 unforced errors in an unconvincing first-set display but broke decisively in the 11th game with her sixth consecutive point as she bagged seven games in a row to open up a 4-0 lead in the second.

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The 2020 Australian Open champion, however, suffered a dip in concentration and allowed her opponent to win three consecutive games before regaining her composure to wrap it up in straight sets on Court 14, having made only four unforced errors in the second set.

Kenin has had a rough year, and her victory marked only the third time in 2021, and the first time since the Yarra Valley Classic in February, that she has won consecutive matches.

Earlier this month, she announced that she was parting ways with her father as a coach to put together a 'new technical team'.

Svitolina breezes past Li

World number six Elina Svitolina wasted little time in advancing to the third round of the French Open with a 6-0 6-4 demolition of American Ann Li on Thursday.

Svitolina, seeking her maiden Grand Slam title, stormed out of the blocks to break Li's serve in the opening game before dictating play from the baseline to consolidate her lead.

World number 75 Li struggled to create opportunities to break the 26-year-old Ukrainian, who won 12 of her 14 first-serve points to claim an opening-set bagel in just 29 minutes on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

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Li got on the scoreboard early in the second set and opened up a surprise 3-0 lead with a string of blistering forehands.

But Svitolina soon found another gear as she reeled off five straight games to book a place in the third round in an hour and 14 minutes.

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