Trio of American women book berths in French Open round of 16

Paris, May 27 (EFE).- Three American women have secured spots in the last 16 of the French Open, with young hopefuls Amanda Anisimova and Cori Gauff and resurgent veteran Sloane Stephens all moving through in convincing fashion on Friday.

The 20-year-old Anisimova had the most difficult test, dropping the first set against Czech Karolina Muchova before seizing full control over the next set and a half.

A Roland Garros semifinalist in 2019 at the age of 17, Anisimova showcased her impressive shotmaking from the baseline during the match, finishing the contest with 43 winners in just 23 games.

The American had won nine of 11 games to move to within three games of victory at 5-7, 6-2, 3-0 when her opponent was forced to retire with an ankle injury.

Next up for Anisimova in the round of 16 will be 2021 US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez, who edged Swiss reigning Olympic women’s singles gold medalist Belinda Bencic 7-5, 3-6, 7-5.

In other action Friday, the 18-year-old Gauff moved into the French Open fourth round with a straight-forward 6-3, 6-4 win over 36-year-old Estonian Kaia Kanepi.

Gauff relied on her foot speed and defensive skills and kept her unforced errors to a minimum on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, committing just 13 compared to Kanepi’s 29 to win that battle of former French Open junior champions.

“I’ve been coming to France since I was 10 years old, so I think that helped me,” Gauff said of her comfort level at Roland Garros. “I was training a lot at Mouratoglou Academy when I was younger, and even now, so I guess that makes me a clay-court – I don’t want to say specialist, but I’m good at it.”

The American phenom will next square off against Belgium’s Elise Mertens with her sights set on reaching the quarterfinals of Roland Garros for the second straight year.

At the bottom of the draw, the 29-year-old Stephens has been recapturing some of the magic that led her to the French Open final in 2018.

On Friday, the world No. 64 cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 victory over 19-year-old Frenchwoman Diane Parry, who committed 39 unforced errors and won just 38 percent of her first-serve points throughout the match.

The 2017 US Open champion will next take on Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann in round of 16 action on Sunday. EFE


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