Jessica Pegula lost in the third round of French Open 2023© AFP
Jessica Pegula’s hopes of a deep run in Paris were ended in comprehensive fashion by Belgian Elise Mertens. The 28th seed cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 victory to reach the fourth round for the third time. World number three Pegula, who only has two WTA Tour titles to her name, has still never passed the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam tournament. “I’m very happy to win in two sets. She’s a very good player,” said Mertens. The former Australian Open semi-finalist will next face the winner of an all-Russian tie between Anastasia Potapova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Russian Daria Kasatkina, a semi-finalist last year, raced into the second week by thrashing American Peyton Stearns 6-0, 6-1 in under an hour.
The ninth seed will face either compatriot Anna Blinkova or Elina Svitolina on Sunday for a place in the quarter-finals.
Ukrainian Svitolina has reached the third round on her first Grand Slam appearance since the 2022 Australian Open.
She is now on a seven-match winning run after also winning the title in Strasbourg last week, beating Blinkova in the final.
Svitolina refused to shake her Russian opponent’s hand after that match and will likely repeat that stance on Friday.
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