Sabalenka cruises past Navarro as Rybakina also reaches French Open quarter-finals

Belarusian overpowers American while Kazak world No 4 eases past Svitolina

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World No 2 Aryna Sabalenka swatted aside American Emma Navarro 6-2, 6-3 to move into the French Open quarter-finals in Paris on Monday.

Elena Rybakina also made it through to the last eight as she beat Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3 at Roland-Garros.

Two-time Australian Open champion Sabalenka had lost to Navarro at Indian Wells in March but she was in no mood for a repeat performance.

She broke the American to love in the first game and followed that up with another break to race through the first set in 30 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Sabalenka, on a winning streak of 11 straight matches at the majors, overpowered Navarro with her thundering baseline game and attacked the American's weak second serve at every opportunity.

An early break in the second set courtesy of yet another stinging winner put Sabalenka 2-1 up and left Navarro with a mountain to climb.

The 26-year-old Belarusian will face either Varvara Gracheva of France or teenager Mirra Andreeva in the last eight.

Afterwards, Sabalenka said: "I played a really tough battle against her at Indian Wells, it was a really tough match and I was going here today ready to fight for every point. I was ready for long rallies and to work really hard to get this win so I'm super happy with the level I played today."

Rybakina overcame a sluggish start, with both players dropping serve, as the former Wimbledon champion upped her level to cruise through the first set.

In the second set, the 29-year-old Svitolina was no match again for Russian-born Rybakina as the 19th-ranked Ukrainian showed signs of fatigue from the start and lacked precision throughout.

Odessa-born Svitolina has reached the quarter-finals four times before, including in 2023, but was unable to trouble Rybakina, who closed out the match 6-4, 6-3.

Rybakina, into the last-eight for the first time since 2021, next faces 15th-ranked Italian Jasmine Paolini, who beat Russia's Elina Avanesyan 4-6, 6-0, 6-1.

Updated: June 03, 2024, 2:10 PM