Sloane marches on, Novak speeds through

 - Reem Abulleil

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

Sloane Stephens, Roland Garros 2021, third round© Clément Mahoudeau/FFT

Former world No.3 Sloane Stephens returned to the fourth round at Roland-Garros for a seventh time in her career - from 10 appearances - thanks to a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Czech No.18 seed Karolina Muchova on Court Simonne-Mathieu on Saturday.

A finalist in Paris in 2018, Stephens, who has dropped to 59 in the world, is enjoying a return to form this fortnight, and will next take on recent Strasbourg champion Barbora Krejcikova.

Stephens' second-round win over the ninth-seeded Karolina Pliskova was her first top-20 win in two years. She has now pulled off back-to-back successes over Czech top-20 players and will no doubt be a serious threat in the second week.


The 28-year-old American, who won the US Open in 2017, was up a break early in the second set but was pegged back by the net-rushing Muchova before finding an opening in game 11.

Stephens landed 84 per cent of her first serves in, broke Muchova four times and wrapped up the victory in just under two hours.

Krejcikova's love affair with France continues

World No.33 Krejcikova claimed an eighth consecutive match-win by upsetting No.5 seed and three-time quarter-finalist 6-3, 6-2 on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The 25-year-old Czech, who is a former doubles No.1 and has won the women's doubles title in Paris in 2018, is into the Roland-Garros fourth round for a second year in a row.

Krejcikova has already been a household name in doubles but is currently enjoying a tremendous surge in singles that includes a run to the Strasbourg title last week.

Barbora Krejcikova, Roland Garros 2021, third round© Philippe Montigny/FFT

Her win over Svitolina - which included a 21-minute service game at 4-3 in the opening set - is her second over a top-10 player, having ousted world No.5 Sofia Kenin in Rome last month.

"I'm super happy that I can't really believe it," said Krejcikova during her on-court chat with Fabrice Santoro.

"I'm so happy that I was able to play my tennis, that my game plan was working. I think most of my shots have been actually amazing. I think it was so far, I think my best match. I'm just really happy that I'm here, that I'm enjoying the game, that I'm entertaining the crowd, thank you so much for coming today. I'm just extremely happy."

Djokovic aces third-round test, and French interview

World No.1 Novak Djokovic faced no trouble during his 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 third-round victory over Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis and did his best to get through a lengthy post-match interview in French with Cedric Pioline.

The Serbian 18-time Grand Slam champion, is a wizard with languages, and is fluent in his native tongue, English, Italian and can get by in French as well.

Djokovic is through the Roland-Garros fourth round for a 12th consecutive year, and has taken sole ownership of the Open Era record for the longest streak of last-16 appearances on Parisian clay. He next faces Lorenzo Musetti.

Unreal debut for Musetti

In front of a buoyant crowd on Court 7, Italian 19-year-old Musetti contested - and won - the first five-set match of his career, defeating his countryman, former Roland-Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to become just the sixth man since the year 2000 to reach the round of 16 on his Grand Slam debut.

The Italian duo hit a combined 106 winners during the match and entertained the crowd with everything from underarm serves to behind-the-back volleys.

Lorenzo Musetti, Roland Garros 2021, third round© Nicolas Gouhier/FFT

El Peque strolls past Kohlschreiber

Over on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, 10th-seeded Diego Schwartzman displayed the kind of magic that saw him make the semi-finals in Paris last year as he eased past German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 to reach the fourth round without dropping a set so far.

The 28-year-old Argentine gave out a huge roar after he wrapped up the two-hour win and was met with 'Diego, Diego' chants from his adoring fans in the stands.


"It's a very special place for me, I'm very happy to be back, very happy to play my best tennis again, and with crowd," Schwartzman told Cedric Pioline during his on-court interview. "Last year, it was my best tournament here and not many people could come, so I'm very happy to play in front of a lot of people this week."

He now awaits the winner of the clash between Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz and big-serving German Jan-Lennard Struff, who upset seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev in the opening round.

Diego Schwartzman, Roland Garros 2021, third round© Corinne Dubreuil/FFT