PARIS: Elena Rybakina advanced to the last 16 of the French Open on Saturday with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Belgium’s Elise Mertens.

Former Wimbledon champion Rybakina broke three times in a row to edge a tight first set against the 25th seed before finding her rhythm in the second to close out victory.

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Fourth seed Rybakina goes on to play either Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, seeded 15th, or Ana Bogdan of Romania.

Rybakina’s best run on the clay at Roland Garros came in 2021 when she reached the quarter-finals.

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