Story so far: Defending champs surge ahead

 - Reem Abulleil

Join us for updates throughout the day as singles third-round action continues at Roland-Garros

Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2021, third round© Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

World No.3 Rafael Nadal took out fellow lefthander Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on Saturday, to storm into the Roland-Garros fourth round for a record-extending 16th time.

The Spaniard, who has no won his last 20 consecutive matches against lefties, claimed 79 per cent of the points on his first serve during his two-hour seven-minute victory and will next square off with 18th-seeded Italian Jannik Sinner, who lost to Nadal in the quarter-finals in Paris eight months ago.

Swiatek solves Kontaveit puzzle

Iga Swiatek recovered from a break down in the opening set to claim her first victory in three meetings with Anett Kontaveit and return to the fourth round at Roland-Garros.

The defending champion posted a 7-6(4), 6-0 result against Kontaveit and will next take on 18-year-old Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk.


Swiatek, who has won her last 10 consecutive Roland-Garros matches and is on a nine-match winning streak on tour this season, having lifted the Rome title coming into Paris, let out a huge 'come on' as she wrapped up her 82-minute victory over the 30th-seeded Estonian.

"She was playing really fast, from the beginning, she was dominating, so I kind of had a late start today. I'm really happy because I was losing in our head-to-head 0-2 against her, so I broke that, so I'm really happy about that," said Swiatek, who has won her last 20 consecutive sets on Parisian clay.

"I was pretty close today to not have that record (of 20 sets won in a row), but I'm really happy that I'm playing consistently and I'm just trying to approach every game the same way, as I did last year and I'm really happy I'm able to do that because many players struggle after coming back, after winning a Grand Slam, so I'm really happy that I'm able to handle it."

Jabeur back in the last 16

Tunisian No.25 seed Ons Jabeur matched her previous best performance at Roland-Garros by moving into the fourth round for a second straight year with a 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 victory over Poland's Magda Linette.

Last autumn, Jabeur became the first Arab woman in history to reach the last-16 stage on Parisian clay and the former junior champion next plays Coco Gauff, who advanced when her fellow American Jennifer Brady was forced to retire while down 1-6.

Brady later revealed she has been suffering from plantar fasciitis and a bone bruise in her foot since Rome.

Ons Jabeur Roland-Garros 2021©Cédric Lecocq / FFT

Kenin not dwelling on the past

Last year's runner-up Sofia Kenin triumphed in an all-American duel with 28th-seeded Jessica Pegula to come through 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in just under two hours.

The fourth-seeded Kenin won the Australian Open in 2020, but has experienced some ups and downs on the court since. She is the highest seed left in the draw and is determined to look ahead rather on focus on her run to the final in Paris eight months ago. This is her third consecutive trip to the Roland-Garros fourth round.

"I have great memories from here. I obviously cannot live on that. I have to try to move on. In terms of that, I just take one match at a time I'm playing. And of course those memories will always be with me," said Kenin, who will face off with Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari for a place in the quarter-finals.

"I just think I need to lock in and put that aside. That was last year. Try to make some new memories this year."

Sofia Kenin, Roland-Garros 2021, 3rd round© Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

Paris breakthrough for Sakkari

Sakkari fought for nearly three hours before she squeezed past Belgian No.14 seed Elise Mertens 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-2 to make the second week on Parisian clay for the first time in five appearances.

The 25-year-old Sakkari hit 53 winners and 48 unforced errors during the match and enters the fourth round in second place on the ace leaderboard for the women's tournament (has struck 17 aces, just two behind leader Elena Rybakina).