World number one Serena Williams had to overcome a tough challenge on day seven of the French Open as the defending champion had to dig deep to secure her place in the fourth round.
24th seed Kristina Mladenovic brought the fight to the American but in the end Williams’ experience proved too much for the Frenchwoman 6-4 7-6 (12/10) victory for the top seed.
Ukraine’s Evolina Svitolina will meet Serena Williams in the last 16 as the 18th seed gained revenge for losing to Ana Ivanovic int he quarter-finals last year with a comfortable 6-4 6-4 win over the Serbian.
Venus Williams was also made to work for her spot in the next round like sister Serena as the ninth seed overcame the spirited Alize Cornet of France 7-6 (7/5) 1-6 6-0.
Eighth seed Timea Bacsinszky is next up for Venus Williams after the Swiss woman encountered no problems in her comfortable 6-4 6-2 victory over France’s Pauline Parmentier.
Carla Suarez Navarro was made to work for her place in the last 16 as the Spaniard edged past Slovak Dominika Cibulkova 6-4 3-6 6-1, while American Madison Keys saw off the tough challenge of Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig 7-6 (7/3) 6-3.
Novak Djokovic kept up his hopes of a first French Open title as it was another easy day at the office for the world number one with a comfortable win over Great Britain’s Aljaz Bedene.
The Serbian encountered little problems as he marched into the fourth round at Roland Garros with a 6-2 6-3 6-3 win over the Briton as he sets sights on a 12th grandslam title.
22-year-old Austrian Dominic Thiem continued his winning streak, as the 15th seed had to fight back from a set down to secure a hard-earned 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 6-3 6-3 victory over German Alexander Zverev.
Czech Republic’s Thomas Berdych also needed to come from behind to see off Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5, while 12th seed David Goffin needed five sets to seal his place in the fourth round beating Spain’s Nicolas Almagro 6-3 4-6 6-3 4-6 6-2.
Spain’s David Ferrer saw off compatriot Feliciano Lopez 6-4 7-6 (8/6) 6-1 to reach the last 16, while another Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut sailed into the fourth round with a 6-2 6-3 6-3 win over Borna Coric of Croatia.
Rafael Nadal was forced to pull out of the tournament on Friday with a wrist injury and it was also the case today for France’s Jo Wilfried Tsonga, who retired due to a leg injury, trailing to Latvian Ernests Gulbis 5-2 in the first set.