Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza once again progressed to the second week at Roland Garros, with the 19th-seeded Spaniard downing reigning WTA Finals champion and ninth seed Elina Svitolina in a third round match on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Neither Muguruza or Svitolina had an ideal clay-court preparation heading into the tournament, with Svitolina also having not played since the first round having received a second round walkover, though Muguruza, who won this title in 2016, is seemingly once again raising her level at what has been one of the most successful tournaments of her career.
The 19th seed, who reached the last four year, battled hard against the Ukranian, surging past her opponent at the end of the opening set, and then rallying from a break down in the second to ultimately prevail in straight sets. Muguruza prevailed 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 28 minutes to progress.
Muguruza impresses in battling victory
Svitolina won comfortably the last time the two met, earlier this season during the Middle-Eastern swing, though today was an entirely different story, with Muguruza surviving a tough start to prevail in what was ultimately an impressive performance.
The match got off to a hotly contested start, with several long and competitive rallies in several of the opening games, though both struggled on serve, with the first seven games of the match all being breaks, with there not being many game points for either. However, serving at 4-3, Muguruza was finally able to consolidate for the first time, putting her a game away from the first set, and the former champion continued to apply pressure on the Ukranian, going 0-40 up on Svitolina’s serve and converting her second set point to take the opener.
Muguruza had finished the first set strongly and looked to build on her momentum early in the second set, holding two break points which would have seen her lead 3-1. However, Svitolina was more assured on serve at this stage of the match and saved both of them, before breaking herself to lead 3-2. Despite having a couple of game points, the ninth seed could not consolidate with the Spaniard breaking straight back and holding. Just two games from victory, Muguruza applied the pressure and broke Svitolina for the second consecutive game, and comfortably held serve to secure a spot in the fourth round.
It was by far an easy win, though Muguruza will surely be satisfied with her performance, dictating large amounts of play and being in control of most of the match, with Svitolina perhaps still feeling the effects of the injury trouble that has plagued her in the past couple of months. Muguruza will next face Polona Hercog or seventh seed Sloane Stephens.