Roland Garros: Elina Svitolina trounces Ann Li, Sloane Stephens ousts Karolina Pliskova

No.5 seed Svitolina eases her way into the third round in Paris, while American sensation Stephens overcomes No.9 seed Pliskova in straight sets.

Elina Svitolina in action at Roland Garros; Credit: Twitter

Elina Svitolina had little difficulty in booking her place in the third round of Roland Garros, while former finalist Sloane Stephens knocked out Karolina Pliskova on Thursday. Svitolina’s 6-0, 6-4 victory in one hour and 14 minutes had similarities to her first-round win. In round one, the No.5 seed had cruised through the first set against wildcard Oceane Babel, but found herself in a difficult spot, before overturning a 2-5 deficit in the second set to win the match. On Thursday, she whitewashed the American in the opening set, but yet again had to claw her way back from a 1-4 deficit to win the set and the match.

“In the end, what I’m really happy is the way that I was down in both matches in the second set and found a way,” said Svitolina. “I found a good level and didn’t give up on the second set. That was a really good point for me, and I was really playing composed in both matches. It was two different players, but I was really happy that I could win in two sets both matches.”

Earlier, the Ukrainian was cruising after winning the first set without losing a game. But Li roared back in the second and found her rhythm to gain a 4-1 lead. Just like the opening round, Svitolina needed to stage a comeback and she duly acknowledged. She took advantage of two Li double faults to get the break back. There was no stopping the 26-year-old after that as she cruised her way through to clinch it on her second match point. She will next face Strasbourg champion Barbora Krejcikova, who beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 6-3.

Stephens upsets Pliskova

Stephens, who was a runner-up at Roland Garros in 2018, reached the third round with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over No.9 seed Pliskova. The absorbing first set saw the American setting the pace, while the Czech had to play catch-up throughout. Stephens initially led 3-1, before Pliskova pegged her back to 3-3. She rebuilt her lead to go up 5-3 before the Czech fought back to level it again.

However, the former US Open champion broke again to win the set 7-5. The second set was one-way traffic as the American lost just one game en route to winning the match. Stephens will next play another Czech, Karolina Muchova. The No.18 seed defeated qualifier Varvara Lepchenko 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round in Paris.

Sportslumo Desk

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