Serene Williams!

PARIS, June 4

Serena Williams powered confidently into the fourth round of the French Open with a 6-4 6-4 defeat of fellow American Danielle Collins today as the draw opened up enticingly.

The 39-year-old seventh seed produced a calm and composed display against a dangerous opponent and is now the highest-ranked player left in the bottom half.

Williams, seeking a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, but first since 2017, will play Kazakhstan’s 21st seed Elena Rybakina for a place in the quarterfinals.

Zverev getting into groove

World No. 6 Alexander Zverev’s French Open campaign gained momentum as the German dispatched Serbia’s Laslo Djere 6-2 7-5 6-2 to reach the fourth round today.

Zverev, who won the claycourt title in Madrid and lost to Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals in Rome in the lead-up to Roland Garros, had too much for his 55th-ranked opponent as he set up a clash with Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

He has never been further than the quarterfinals here but his part of the draw seems clear until the last-four, where he could face fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Meanwhile, claycourt machine Rafa Nadal celebrated his 35th birthday by handing his longtime pal Richard Gasquet a 6-0 7-5 6-2 masterclass as he stormed into the third round on Thursday. — Reuters

Day 6: Highlights

Good old times

Two-time Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka produced a clinical display to dispatch American Madison Keys 6-2 6-2 and book a place in the last-16 for the first time since 2013.

The avenger

Third seed Aryna Sabalenka was knocked out in the third round by Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who took revenge for her semifinals loss in Madrid last month with a 6-4 2-6 6-0 victory.

Sayonara Laaksonen

Japan’s Kei Nishikori has progressed to the last-16 after his opponent Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland retired hurt, trailing 7-5.

MEDVEDEV in last-16

Second seed Daniil Medvedev was impressive once again as he struck 28 winners in a 6-4 6-2 6-4 victory over USA’s Reilly Opelka. Argentine Federico Delbonis advanced to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career after a 6-4 6-1 6-3 win over Italian 27th seed Fabio Fognini, who made 53 unforced errors.

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