French Open Day 7 Women’s Recap: Two Shock Results In Paris

Wimbledon quarterfinalist Emma Navarro in action.

The remaining women’s Round of 32 matches were completed on Day 7 of the French Open. 2022 Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina, world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, and 2023 US Open semifinalist Madison Keys were among the players in action. It was another superb day, which included two big names exiting the tournament. This article recaps who looked good, which players struggled, and dives into the best match of Day 7.

French Open Day 7 Women’s Recap

Who Looked Good

Aryna Sabalenka prevailed in straight sets for the third time in a row at the French Open by defeating her good friend Paula Badosa 7-5 6-1. The Belarusian was 4-2 down in the opening set before winning 10 out of the last 11 games. Her level in the final 11 games was ominously good, and Sabalenka will be very difficult to beat in Paris if she finds that level consistently.

Elena Rybakina also claimed another victory in two sets. She eased past Elise Mertens 6-4 6-2. The 24-year-old was very clinical when she had break point chances, taking five out of her six opportunities. Mertens did not play a bad match, but Rybakina’s consistently powerful hitting was too difficult to manage.

Emma Navarro caused an upset at the French Open by overcoming Madison Keys 7-6 7-6. Although Navarro is a very good clay-court player in her own right, Keys was one of the most in-form players on the dirt this year heading into the match. But her younger compatriot returned excellently and also played some great drops in a very complete performance. Navarro has successfully made a major breakthrough by reaching the Round of 16 of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Elina Svitolina is also into the next round after beating Anna Bogdan 7-5 6-2. The Ukrainian played a very smart match against her gritty opponent, consistently choosing the right moments to effectively use her superior firepower to overwhelm Bogdan.

Varvara Gracheva delighted the French Open crowd by triumphing 7-5 6-3 against Irina-Camelia Begu to continue her great run. Both sets were tight, with both players’ levels high. In the end, Gracheva played the big points slightly better, possibly inspired by her home fans.

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Who Looked Bad

Peyton Stearns was the only women’s player to have a very bad day on Day 7 of the French Open. She was swept aside 6-2 6-1 by teenage prodigy Mirra Andreeva. This may simply have been a match too far for Stearns. She won some long matches to win the title in Rabat heading into the second Grand Slam of the year. The American then won another very long first round contest at Roland-Garros, before playing incredibly to defeat Daria Kasatkina in the next round. Stearns seemed to visibly run out of steam against Andreeva after those efforts.

Match Of The Day

There were two three-set battles on Day 7 of the French Open. Jasmine Paolini triumphed 6-1 3-6 6-0 against Bianca Andreescu. The Canadian already defied expectations by reaching the third round in her first tournament back after a long injury. Understandably, Paolini’s intensity became too much for her in the third set.

The best match of the day was undoubtedly the other three-set contest between Australian Open runner-up Qinwen Zheng and Elina Avanesyan. There were three breaks of serve in the opening four games, with three of these going Zheng’s way. After no further breaks, Zheng claimed the first set 6-3. The Chinese player then led 2-0 at the start of the second set and looked in control. However, Avaensyan’s gritty style began to trouble her after that. The Russian’s consistency extracted several errors from Zheng’s racket and she forced a decider by winning the second set 6-3.

Avanesyan became even more solid in the opening seven games of the third set. Zheng found it very difficult to hit through her and found herself 2-5 down. Yet, the 21-year-old suddenly sprang to life by claiming four games in a row to lead 6-5. Another break seemed possible, but Avanesyan produced a stunning forehand passing shot at deuce before winning the next point to take this thrilling battle into a 10-point tiebreak.

The tiebreak ebbed and flowed until 6-6. Zheng’s concentration was then finally worn down by her opponent’s persistent defense. Avanesyan claimed the final four points to knock out the No. 7 seed 3-6 6-3 7-6.

Main Photo Credit: Ray Acevedo – USA TODAY Sports


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