Svitolina downs Alexandrova to reach French Open fourth round

Third seed Elina Svitolina earned a 6-4, 7-5 win over Ekaterina Alexandrova to advance to the fourth round of the French Open on Friday.

Elina Svitolina

Elina Svitolina could potentially face Belgian 16th seed Elise Mertens in the next round.   -  Reuters

Ukrainian third seed Elina Svitolina advanced into the fourth round of the French Open with a 6-4, 7-5 victory against Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova on Friday.

Svitolina, who reached the last-eight twice at Roland Garros, benefited from the 27th seed's early string of unforced errors to take the better start as she set up a meeting with Belgian 16th seed Elise Mertens or France's Caroline Garcia.

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“I knew it would be a difficult match, she plays flat and deep,” said Svitolina.

“It was very important to stay focused on every point, dig deep, and run for every single ball,” she added.

Alexandrova peppered court Suzanne Lenglen with unforced errors early on, staying in the contest courtesy of a reliable first serve, but the Russian fell one set behind when Svitolina converted her only break point in the 10th game.

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Svitolina, who geared up for the French Open by winning the title at the Strasbourg International, saved a break point at 5-5 in the second set as the rallies got longer.

Alexandrova eventually bowed out on her service game. A double fault earned Svitolina two match points and the Ukrainian converted the first when her opponent whacked a forehand long.

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