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Elina Svitolina falls short , Madison Keys advances at French Open

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina was ousted by Mihaela Buzarnescu, while 13th seed Madison Keys overcame a second-set wobble to beat Japan’s Naomi Osaka at French Open.

tennis Updated: Jun 01, 2018 23:35 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Reuters, Paris
French Open,Roland Garros,Mihaela Buzarnescu
Elina Svitolina lost 6-3, 7-5 at French Open to Mihaela Buzarnescu.(REUTERS)

Elina Svitolina’s French Open breakthrough was again put on hold on Friday when the Ukrainian fourth seed was knocked out 6-3, 7-5 in the third round by Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu.

The 23-year-old Svitolina, who trains at Roland Garros and was a quarter-finalist in 2015 and 2017, had been tipped as one of the potential winners for the second year in a row after winning the Italian Open, but she never found her groove on Court One.

She dropped serve five times and made 29 unforced errors, bowing out on the first match point when she buried another forehand into the net.

Buzarnescu, who reached the final in Prague on clay last month, next faces American 13th seed Madison Keys, the 2017 U.S. Open runner-up.

Keys fends off Osaka

American 13th seed Madison Keys overcame a second-set wobble to beat Japan’s Naomi Osaka 6-1, 7-6(7) and reach the last 16 of the French Open for the second time on Friday.

READ | Serena Williams shows plenty of fight to subdue Ashleigh Barty in French Open

A match between two of the biggest hitters on the WTA Tour failed to really catch fire on a cool and half-empty Suzanne Lenglen Court with Keys helped on her way to the first set by a succession of wild errors from Osaka.

Keys broke for a 3-1 lead in the second set and looked to be closing in on a straightforward victory when 21st seed Osaka suddenly found her range and levelled the set.

Osaka’s mini-revival looked to have fizzled out when she dropped serve with a double-fault at 4-4.

Keys squandered a match point in the next game, however, and the 23-year-old U.S. Open runner-up looked increasingly tight as the set moved into a tiebreaker.

Osaka led 4-1 but Keys dragged it back to 4-4 with a searing backhand pass but faced a set point at 5-6 and needed some superb defence to fend off the fired-up Japanese.

READ | Simona Halep overcomes another wobble to reach French Open round three

Keys saved another set point at 6-7, this time with a booming first serve. She then wrong-footed Osaka to bring up a second match point and was relieved as her opponent coughed up another double-fault to end the contest.

She will face either fourth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine or Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu next.

Keys is one of three Americans to reach the third round with Sloane Stephens, who beat her in the Flushing Meadows final last year, and three-times champion Serena Williams also in the hunt.

First Published: Jun 01, 2018 20:06 IST