Rybakina romps to Roland Garros rout

FOURTH seed Elena Rybakina was in no mood to waste time overnight at Roland Garros, kick-starting the claycourt Grand Slam with a dominant 6-2 6-3 victory over Belgian Greet Minnen. The Kazakh was unstoppable at times, and once she found her rhythm, her opponent had no answers.

Despite the world number 85 being able to go with Rybakina early, the world number four put the foot down midway through the first set to reel off 10 consecutive games and win in a blazing 73 minutes on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

After being broken to love in the opening game, losing the first six points of the match and going 0-2 love, fans would have been forgiven for thinking Rybakina was a little off her game. She missed last year’s Roland Garros due to illness so has no points to defend in Paris, but quickly made up for lost time to reel off 10 consecutive games.

Going from 0-2 down to being 6-2 4-0 up, Rybakina looked unstoppable. In the one-hour and 13-minute match, the fourth seed served five aces and won 69 per cent of her first serve points off a 66 per cent clip. By comparison, Minnen only managed a success rate of 56 per cent off a 47 per cent clip, and hit just 13 winners for the match.

Rybakina smashed home a massive 36 winners from her 65 total points won, and committed just 21 unforced errors, as she controlled the match off her racquet. She was just as good at the net, winning two thirds of her 21 net points, and looked comfortable on her approach.

“Last year I missed out on this tournament, it was really hard to take,” Rybakina said post-match. “So I’m very happy to be back and compete here.”

Rybakina will take on world number 50 Arantxa Rus in the second round after the Dutchwoman defeated Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber in straight sets, 6-4 6-3. She joins fellow Top 10 seeds Aryna Sabalenka, Qinwen Zheng and Daria Kasatkina in the next stage after the trio had straight sets victories. Zheng knocked off Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, with the latter in her final Roland Garros.

The only seed to fall on the day was 26th seed Katie Boulter, with the Brit going down to former world number three Paula Badosa in a three-set result. The Spaniard won 4-6 7-5 6-4 to move through, while in more one sided results, Victoria Azarenka and Emma Navarro dropped just one and two games respectively on their way to the Round of 64.


[2] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) defeated Erika Andreeva (RUS) 6-1 6-2
[4] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated Greet Minnen (BEL) 6-2 6-3
[7] Qinwen Zheng (CHN) defeated Alize Cornet (FRA) 6-2 6-1
[10] Daria Kasatkina (RUS) defeated Magdalena Frech (POL) 7-5 6-1
[14] Madison Keys (USA) defeated Renata Zarazua (MEX) 6-3 6-2
[19] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) defeated Nadia Podoroska (ARG) 6-1 6-0
[22] Emma Navarro (USA) defeated Zeynep Sonmez (TUR) 6-2 6-0
[25] Elise Mertens (BEL) defeated Maria Carle (ARG) 6-3 7-6
Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated [26] Katie Boulter (GBR) 4-6 7-5 6-4
[28] Sorana Cirstea (ROU) defeated Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-3 3-6 7-6
Petra Martic (CRO) defeated Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-4 6-4
Elina Avanesyan (RUS) defeated Lin Zhu (CHN) 6-2 6-4
Peyton Stearns (USA) defeated Lucija Ciric Bagaric (CRO) 6-3 6-7 7-6
Tamara Korpatsch (GER) defeated Ashlyn Krueger (USA) 4-6 6-4 7-6
Arantxa Rus (NED) defeated Angelique Kerber (GER) 6-4 6-3
Mirra Andreeva (RUS) defeated Emina Bektas (USA) 6-2 6-3
Mayar Sherif (EGY) defeated Yue Yuan (CHN) 6-1 6-3
Moyuka Uchijima (JPN) defeated Irene Burillo Escorihuela (ESP) 6-1 6-1
Sara Errani (ITA) defeated Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 6-3 6-2
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) defeated Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-1 6-2

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