Five American Women Reach The Round of 16 At French Open
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When Madison Keys finished off Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in a third-set tiebreak on Saturday at Roland Garros, she became the fifth American woman into the Round of 16 at the year’s second Grand Slam.

Keys, the No. 22 seed joins No. 11 Jessica Pegula, No. 18 Coco Gauff, No. 27 Amanda Anisimova and unseeded Sloane Stephens in the fourth round.

By contrast, no American men remain in the singles draw.

“Success breeds success and these women are all pushing each other to keep going deeper in slams,” ESPN’s Rennae Stubbs said. “It started with Sloane [Stephens] and [Sofia] Kenin and others winning slams, Danielle [Collins] making finals. With Serena and Venus not playing it’s nice to see the other Americans pick up and run with it.”

Serena, 40, has won 23 major titles but hasn’t played since Wimbledon last year due to injury. She may return at Wimbledon this summer. Venus, 41, owns seven major singles titles but her last major appearance was also last summer’s Wimbledon. Serena is currently ranked No. 276 in the world, Venus No. 529.

In their wake, Stephens won the U.S. Open in 2017 and Kenin the Australian Open in 2020, while Collins reached this year’s Australian Open final before losing to then-world No. 1 Ash Barty.

Stephens is the only member of the remaining group to win a major, having beaten Keys in the 2017 U.S. Open final.

Stephens also defeated Keys in the 2018 Roland Garros semifinals before losing to Simona Halep in the final.

Now Keys is back in the second week and will face No. 29 Veronika Kudermetova of Russia on Monday.

“I really just tried to focus on making as many balls as I could and trying to stay in rallies, just waiting for the right opportunity to try to go for my shots,” Keys said on-court after her 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(3) victory. “And I”m pretty happy with the win today.”

“It means the world to me,” she added. “Growing up, we always dream of being in these big tournaments and doing well and being able to make a second week means so much, and I’m so happy I get to stay in Paris a little bit longer.”

Keys has an opportunity to get through to the semifinals on the top half of the draw, where she could end up facing world No. 1 Iga Świątek, who won her 31st straight match Saturday against Danka Kovinić, 6-3, 7-5. With one more victory, Świątek would tie Justine Henin for the third longest winning streak among women this century.

Pegula, whose family owns the Buffalo Bills, is also on the top half of the draw and will meet Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu on Monday. If she advances, she could face Świątek in the quarterfinals.

On the bottom half of the draw, Anisimova, who knocked out four-time major champion Naomi Osaka in the first round, will face No. 17 Leylah Fernandez, the U.S. Open runner-up, in the fourth round Sunday.

Gauff, who reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals a year ago for her best performance at a major, faces No. 31 Elise Mertens in the fourth round Sunday.

“I think that now I feel like mentally I’m in a better place than I was last year,” Gauff said. “Coming into the second week I think sometimes that’s what makes Grand Slams harder is because it is two weeks and there is no other way to prepare for two weeks of playing.

“I think going into my next match, I played her before, and I think I’m a lot more relaxed than going into my fourth-round match last year. I think I’m a lot more prepared to play two weeks of tennis.”

Stephens, meantime, meets No. 11 Jill Teichmann of Switzerland in the fourth round Sunday.

Stephens had to fight back from a set down in each of her first two rounds, but ended the run of 19-year-old Frenchwoman Diane Parry in straight sets Friday. Her 31 wins in Paris mark her most at a Grand Slam.

“Considering that I did not win a single match before coming into the French Open, I would say that I’m doing the absolute best that I can, and that I am pleased to be in the fourth round for the eighth time,” she said. “I don’t think you ever know when it’s gonna happen or when it’s gonna click. … Happy to put the wins together now.”

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