Advertisement

Swiatek celebrates birthday with third-round win

Iga Swiatek of Poland
Iga Swiatek is on a 15-match winning streak on clay courts [EPA]

Iga Swiatek celebrated her 23rd birthday with a routine victory against Marie Bouzkova in the third round of the French Open.

Swiatek was serenaded by the crowd with a rendition of 'Happy Birthday' on Court Philippe Chatrier after wrapping up a 6-4 6-2 win.

The Pole, who is chasing a third straight French Open title, has now won 17 matches in a row at Roland Garros.

She will now face Russia's Anastasia Potapova, who defeated Wang Xinyu of China 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 6-4.

Four-time major winner Swiatek was forced to save a match point against Japan's Naomi Osaka before winning a three-set thriller in the last round.

It was a more straightforward affair against Bouzkova though, with the world number one sending 34 winners past the player from the Czech Republic.

Bouzkova conceded serve twice in the first set before clawing back a break of her own, but Swiatek held firm to take the opener and went a double break up early in the second set.

Bouzkova, ranked 42nd in the world, saved a match point at 5-2 but it only delayed the inevitable as Swiatek clinched victory at the fourth time of asking.

"I feel good physically, I had a day off yesterday," said Swiatek.

"I don't feel like the match [against Osaka] stayed with me but we'll see at the end of the tournament."

There were also wins for Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur on day six in Paris.

Gauff holds firm to beat Yastremska

Coco Gauff celebrates
Coco Gauff was runner-up to Iga Swiatek in the 2022 French Open final [Getty Images]

Gauff held firm against a streaky Dayana Yastremska to secure a 6-2 6-4 win and secure her place in the fourth round.

Third seed Gauff, runner-up at Roland Garros in 2022, had a double break lead in the second set and served for the match at 5-2 up before 30th seed Yastremska rescued a break.

American Gauff had to then save two further break points in her next service game before pushing through to secure victory.

Gauff is bidding for a second major singles title after winning last year's US Open.

"It's important to expect great things from yourself but I'm 20 and I'm hoping to be playing for another 10 years or so," Gauff said.

"Going into the Australian Open I was more nervous in the first couple of rounds, but now it's one match at a time."

Elsewhere, Jabeur continued her bid for a first major title with a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) victory against Canada's Leylah Fernandez, while Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova brushed aside Chloe Paquet of France 6-1 6-3.

Qualifier Olga Danilovic also advanced after an emotional 0-6 7-5 7-6 (10-8) win against Donna Vekic.

'I said play with the heart and not the brain'

Elisabetta Cocciaretto celebrates
Elisabetta Cocciaretto reached the third round at Roland Garros last year [Getty Images]

Gauff could next face a stern test against Italy's Elisabetta Cocciaretto after the Italian, ranked 51st in the world, beat Russian 17th seed Liudmila Samsonova 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 to reach the fourth round of a major for the first time.

Cocciaretto has beaten two seeded players in her three matches in Paris, coming out on top in a tough three-setter in the first round against 13th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia and putting in another impressive performance against Samsonova.

At 23, she is the youngest Italian woman to reach the last 16 at Roland Garros since Francesca Schiavone in 2001.

"I think I played unbelievably in the first games, and after that I was over-thinking," Cocciaretto said.

"I said to myself: play with the heart and not with the brain. It’s unbelievable for me right now.”

Serbia's Danilovic was equally emotional when she beat Vekic to also reach the fourth round of a major for the first time.

The 23-year-old beat 11th seed Danielle Collins on Thursday and threw herself to the floor in triumph as she beat Vekic less than 24 hours later.

"I don't know what to say, I have no words," Danilovic said.

"There have been so many rain delays but the folks that come to watch, 'merci beaucoup'. Going through for the first time means the world to me."