French Open: Sabalenka claims commanding straight-set win

Aryna Sabalenka celebrates her victory

Aryna Sabalenka underlined her French Open title credentials by completing another commanding straight-set win to reach the third round at Roland Garros.

The world number two took just 62 minutes to dismiss Japan’s Moyuka Uchijima 6-2 6-2 under the roof on Court Philippe Chatrier.

That win followed an opening victory over Erika Andreeva, in which she lost just three games.

Sabalenka will now meet a former quarter-finalist in either Spain’s Paula Badosa, who ended British number one Katie Boulter’s tournament, or Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.

Her potential semi-final opponent, fourth seed Elena Rybakina, recovered from 4-2 behind in the second set to also clinch a straight-set win on Thursday.

Kazakh Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion, defeated Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 6-3 6-4 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Sabalenka, who reached the last four at Roland Garros in 2023, has made at least the semi-finals at each of her past six Grand Slams.

The 26-year-old Belarusian combined trademark power with measured drop shots as she produced 27 winners in recording an efficient win over her 83rd-ranked opponent.

Having begun the year by successfully defending her Australian Open title, Sabalenka prepared for the French Open by reaching the final in the clay at both the Madrid Open and the Italian Open.

On both occasions Sabalenka lost out to world number one Iga Swiatek, who had to save a match point as she overcame Naomi Osaka in a three-set thriller on Wednesday.

With rain once again interrupting the French Open schedule, reigning Wimbledon champion …?..