Aryna Sabalenka Begins French Open with Dominant Win

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka started her French Open campaign with a commanding 6-1, 6-2 victory over Russian teenager Erika Andreeva. She aims to win her second Grand Slam title of the year after her Australian Open triumph, becoming the first woman since Serena Williams in 2015 to win both Melbourne and Paris in the same year.

Reuters | Updated: 28-05-2024 23:36 IST | Created: 28-05-2024 23:36 IST
Aryna Sabalenka Begins French Open with Dominant Win
Aryna Sabalenka

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka launched her bid for a maiden French Open title and second Grand Slam crown of the year with a breezy 6-1 6-2 first-round win over Russian teenager Erika Andreeva on Tuesday that will serve as a warning to her main rivals. The 26-year-old, who successfully defended her Australian Open title earlier this year, is attempting to become the first woman to triumph at Melbourne and Paris in the same year since American Serena Williams achieved the feat in 2015.

"I'm just trying to separate myself from all those facts. I mean, I know that if I'll be able to focus on myself and I'll be able to fight for every point and try to find solution in each game I will be able to win these big tournaments," she said. "But I just try to take it step by step."

Sabalenka arrived at Roland Garros as a top contender for the title after strong results in the European claycourt swing - losing only to Iga Swiatek and Marketa Vondrousova - and wasted little time to get going on Court Philippe Chatrier. After breaking in the fourth game when 19-year-old Andreeva hit a double fault, Sabalenka fired up her forehand to quickly build up a 5-1 lead and closed out the opening set when her opponent sent a shot wide.

Sabalenka pounced on world number 100 Andreeva's serve again to grab the lead in the second set before handing the break back while attempting a chip from deep, but last year's semi-finalist promptly surged ahead 4-2 after saving more breakpoints. Having neutralised the increased threat from Andreeva, she wrapped up the contest on serve in 68 minutes, finishing it off on her third matchpoint with a sublime drop shot at the net to huge cheers from the crowd.

"In practice I do it very well," Sabalenka said on court earlier. "But I wasn't sure I can do it on the match court. "Now I started using it in the matches. It didn't work well before but now it has started working finally, after many years of practising my touch game."

Up next for the Belarusian is Irene Burillo Escorihuela or Moyuka Uchijima, with the two qualifiers set to face off later.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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