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PARIS: Iga Swiatek steps up her pursuit of a third successive French Open crown on Sunday, while men’s title contenders Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner attempt to reach the quarter-finals.

World number one Swiatek celebrated her 23rd birthday with a straight-sets win over Marie Bouzkova to reach the last 16, correcting course after saving a match point the round before against fellow four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka.

“I could reset, and I could also rest physically because this match (against Osaka) was for sure demanding,” said Swiatek, who is 31-2 in her career at Roland Garros.

“I felt good. Like, I can just proceed with having a solid tournament even though I was in trouble against Naomi for sure.”

Next up for the top seed from Poland is 41st-ranked Anastasia Potapova, a 23-year-old Russian through to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Swiatek is a red-hot favourite to lift the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen and become only the fourth woman to win four Roland Garros titles in the Open era.

She is also looking to become just the second woman after Serena Williams to complete the clay-court treble of Madrid, Rome and French Opens in the same season.

US Open champion Coco Gauff also faces an opponent who is embarking on her best run at a major in Italy’s Elisabetta Cocciaretto.

The world number 51 has already taken down two seeds – Beatriz Haddad Maia and Liudmila Samsonova – to surpass her third-round displays from both Roland Garros and Wimbledon last year.

Battle-tested Swiatek looks for French Open birthday boost

“I know she’s a fighter. She fights all the time. No matter what the score is, she’s not giving up until the last point. I know I have to go in there with a strong mentality,” said Gauff, the 2022 French Open runner-up.

Ons Jabeur is looking to turn the page on a miserable first half of the season, with a quarter-final showing in Madrid the only time heading into Roland Garros she had won multiple matches at a single event.

The Tunisian eighth seed, a three-time Grand Slam finalist, meets Denmark’s Clara Tauson for a spot in the last eight.

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova goes up against Serbian qualifier Olga Danilovic.

‘Hip feels good’

Alcaraz says he feels much more like himself after brushing aside 27th seed Sebastian Korda to make the last 16 in Paris for the third year running.

“I wanted to feel myself on court - I think I did that pretty well,” said Alcaraz, gunning for a third Grand Slam title after victories at Wimbledon and the US Open. “I think I played really well - much better than my previous matches.”

The 21-year-old Spaniard made the semi-finals in Paris last year where he was defeated by eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

Alcaraz’s next assignment is Canada’s Felix-Auger Aliassime, who is 3-2 against the world number three although the two men have never met on clay.

Second seed Sinner has yet to drop a set through three rounds and takes on the last remaining Frenchman in the draw, Corentin Moutet.

Australian Open champion Sinner has lost only two matches this year and will replace Djokovic as world number one if he reaches the final at Roland Garros.

Sinner withdrew from Madrid with a hip problem and then skipped Rome, a precaution which appears to be paying off.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, who lost the 2021 French Open final to Djokovic in five sets, plays Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi, the conqueror of Russian sixth seed Andrey Rublev.


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