The two teenagers move into the second week at Roland Garros; Coco Gauff has won all of her matches so far in straight sets; Leylah Fernandez will now make an appearance in the second week of the French Open for the first time
Friday 27 May 2022 19:04, UK
Coco Gauff and Leylah Fernandez have progressed into the French Open fourth round with Fernandez reaching the second week of the clay-court Grand Slam for the first time in her career.
Gauff showed her confidence on clay during her straight-sets 6-3 6-4 win over the world No 46 Kaia Kanepi on Friday.
Fernandez went the distance on Court Philippe-Chatrier and came out on top 7-5 3-6 7-5 after a lengthy contest with Belinda Bencic.
On Court Suzanne-Lenglen, Gauff continued to show she will not be daunted by opponents who have been on Tour for a lot longer than she has.
Her third-round opponent Kanepi is double her age and was playing an ITF event the week after Gauff was born.
Gauff and Kanepi spent just 83 minutes on court, with the American closing out the match on her first match point. She has now won her first three matches of this year's draw in straight sets.
Gauff is the 18th seed and she reached the quarter-finals 12 months ago, before losing to the eventual champion Barbora Krejcikova.
"I knew going into it, it was going to be a tough match," Gauff said on court after.
"She beat (Garbine) Muguruza in the first round, who is a tough player to beat. I also played her in the past and we had a close, tough two-set match.
"I've been coming to France since I was 10 years old so I think that helped me a lot. I guess it makes me a clay court... I don't want to say specialist, but you know, good at it!"
Gauff will next test her clay-court skills against Elise Mertens, the 31st seed, who also came through in straight sets.
Fellow teenager Fernandez reached the second week at Roland Garros for the first time after her 7-5 3-6 7-5 victory over Bencic.
Fernandez and Bencic spent two hours and 49 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier, with the Canadian going 2-0 down in the decider before coming out on top.
"I'm very happy with the match and thank you all for the support," Fernandez said. "It was a difficult match, but it's one of my dreams to be able to play on this court."
Amanda Anisimova, Fernandez's opponent in the fourth round, advanced after Karolina Muchova was forced to retire due to an ankle injury.
Muchova, who ousted title-contender Maria Sakkari earlier in the draw, won the first set against Anisimova, coming back from a 5-1 deficit in the tie-break. She then called for a medical timeout and had her left thigh taped.
The physical issues continued shortly after for Muchova; she rolled her right ankle and fell while trying to hit a return at 2-2 in the second set.
Muchova hid her face in her towel and cried as the physio heavily taped her ankle. She tried to play through the pain, before eventually calling time on the match at 6-7 (9-7) 6-2 3-0 down.
"It's very tough and I feel really bad for her," Anisimova said about her opponent. "She's had a tough year with injuries."
Three years ago, 20-year-old Anisimova became the youngest American to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals since Jennifer Capriati in 1990.
Anisimova and Fernandez have met on Tour just once previously, with Anisimova having to retire from their contest at Indian Wells this year.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who beat Emma Raducanu in the second round, has continued to play positive tennis and has knocked Angelique Kerber out of the draw.
Sasnovich had lost to Kerber in three sets recently in Strasbourg, but this time she came out on top in straight sets 6-4 7-5 (7-5).
She hit 44 winners, to just 14 from Kerber, and was purposeful behind her first serve - winning 75 per cent of points on it.
Sasnovich has only lost one set so far in the singles draw, the first set that she played against Raducanu in the second round.
The 28-year-old will now take on the world No 59 Martina Trevisan. Trevisan overcame Australian wildcard Daria Saville 6-3 6-4 on Friday.
Saville had previously beaten Petra Kvitova but was not able to stay with her Italian opponent, who converted every break point she created during the match.
Elsewhere in the draw, Jil Teichmann and Victoria Azarenka spent three hours and 18 minutes on court, with their contest going all the way to a final set match tie-break.
In the end, Teichmann gained the momentum at just the right time, and she completed a stunning comeback to prevail 4-6 7-5 7-6 (10-5).
Sloane Stephens ended the run of Frenchwoman Diane Parry, who had knocked out the defending champion Barbora Krejcikova in the first round.
Stephens prevailed 6-2 6-3 on Court Philippe-Chatrier and will take on Teichmann in the fourth round.