Fourth seed Sofia Kenin hung on as the last Top 5 survivor at the French Open on Saturday with the fourth seed earning a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 comeback win into the fourth round over Jessica Pegula..
The American who lost the final here last October to Iga Swiatek, remains the highest seed still in contention with the first three all gone a week into the clay fortnight.
Top seed Ash Barty was felled by a hip injury, No. 2 Naomi Osaka pulled out rather than face the media in a “mental health” crisis while third seed Aryna Sabalenka lost on Friday and No. 5 Elina Svitolina went out on Saturday..
Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, is into the Roland Garros fourth round for a third straight edition.
She overcame 10 double-faults and 41 unforced errors to advance in just under two hours.
“I’m obviously really happy. It was a tough match with a lot of ups and downs, emotions,” Kenin said.
“I’m just really happy with the way I’m playing. Of course, being in the second week of a Slam is obviously really nice and special, so towards the end.”
Barbora Krejcikova put her doubles skills to good use in singles to knock out fifth seed Svitolina 6-3, 6-2.
The 33rd-ranked Czech who won her first singles title a week ago in Strasbourg, owns Roland Garros and Wimbledon doubles honours as well as finishing Australian Open runners-up in February with partner Katerina Siniakova.
Krejcikova’s win included a mega-game lasting 21 minutes at 4-3 in the first set, which resulted in a break of Svitolina.
Such was the heat of competition that the winner could hardly recall the drama.
“I don’t really remember the game. I just know that I was serving for a long time, and it was just all the time deuce, advantage, deuce, advantage, deuce, advantage, she said.
“That was the key game for me that I was able to hold the serve. After that I just did better and broke her. Winning the first set was a big key.”
Krajcikova will play for the quarter-finals against 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens after the unseeded American defeated 19th-ranked Czech Karolina Muchova 6-3, 7-5.
Due to her big-match doubles history, Krejcikova has plenty of experience at tense moments.
“Playing a lot of doubles actually and mixed doubles, playing the big courts, playing all these big stadiums, I think that’s what’s helping me right now.
“When I’m playing on a big court, a big player, I know that I already have some kind of experience; I’m not stressing about it anymore.”
Defending champion Iga Swiatek continued her steady progress through the field with a win over Anett Kontaveit 7-6(4), 6-0.
The Polish eighth seed kept her unforced error count to just 12 in the 84-minute victory.
She will aim for the quarter-finals in a match with Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk, who beat Russian Varvara Gracheva with the loss of just three games.
Coco Gauff advanced 6-1 after 24 minutes when Jennifer Brady retired injured after losing the first set.