On a successful day for seeded players, Venus Williams reached the fourth round of the French Open for the second year in a row, beating Belgium’s Elise Mertens 6-3 6-1. With pregnant sis Serena supporting her from the stands, the 36-year-old Venus, wearing her own design, the EleVen Diamond Clarity Dress, used her rich experience to neutralize Mertens’ comeback from 1-5 in the opening set. The tenth-seeded American, who played the final at the 2017 Australian Open, is eyeing the latest stage of the tournament, confirming that modesty is not a strength in sports: “It’s going to be, ‘Hey, I want to win this title.’ It’s not like, ‘Oh, my god, third round is amazing.’ That gives me an advantage.”
Venus’ fourth-round opponent will be seed No.30 Timea Bacsinszky, the player who eliminated her from the tournament last year. This year the Swiss made the fourth round by ending Tunisian Ons Jabeur’s miracle run, 6-2 6-2.
Reigning champion and fourth seed Garbine Muguruza got past Yulia Putintseva 7-5 6-2 in the third round, while eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova survived always-tricky Zhang Shuai 7-6(5) 4-6 7-5. Seed No.13 Kristina Mladenovic was almost sent packing by Shelby Rogers, as the American was one game away from victory, proving that her last year’s quarterfinal run at Roland Garrros was no fluke.
Caroline Wozniacki and young prospect Catherine Bellis will continue their match tomorrow, as darkness and rain stopped it at 6-2 2-5, when American Bellis was on her way to winning the second set.