Svitolina out as seed exodus continues

Barbora Krejcikova has reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam only once before, at last year’s French Open

Elina Svitolina became the seventh top-10 seed to be knocked out in the French Open’s opening week as she fell in the third round to Barbora Krejcikova.

Fifth seed Svitolina’s serve was broken six times as she was outclassed 6-3 6-2 by the impressive unseeded Czech.

The Ukrainian follows Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova, Aryna Sabalenka, Belinda Bencic and Bianca Andreescu out of Roland Garros.

Krejcikova next faces Sloane Stephens, who beat 18th seed Karolina Muchova.

Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion and 2018 runner-up at Roland Garros, triumphed 6-3 7-5 against the out-of-sorts Czech.

Both players struggled for accuracy throughout, Stephens hitting 25 unforced errors and Muchova 32, but the 28-year-old American broke serve early in the first set and, crucially, at 5-5 in the second, to progress.

Krejcikova, until recently a doubles specialist with two Grand Slam titles to her name in that format, was far more imperious in her victory over Svitolina, 26.

The 25-year-old, who won her maiden singles title in Strasbourg last month, never looked back after holding her serve in a mammoth 21-minute game at 4-3 up in the first set, breaking Svitolina in each game either side.

Serena Williams, who reached the fourth round on Friday, is one of just three top-10 seeds left standing, along with 2020 finalist Sofia Kenin and defending champion Iga Swiatek, who both play their third-round matches on Saturday.

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