Sabalenka mows down teenager Andreeva in French Open first round

By Reuters
May 29, 2024
Russia's Erika Andreeva in action during the first round match against Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka.— Reuters/file

PARIS: Second seed Aryna Sabalenka launched her bid for a maiden French Open title and second Grand Slam crown of the year with a breezy 6-1 6-2 first-round win over Russian teenager Erika Andreeva on Tuesday that will serve as a warning to her main rivals.


The 26-year-old, who successfully defended her Australian Open title earlier this year, arrived at Roland Garros as a top contender after strong results in the European clay swing and wasted little time to get going on Court Philippe Chatrier.

After breaking in the fourth game when 19-year-old Andreeva hit a double fault, Sabalenka fired up her forehand to quickly build up a 5-1 lead and closed out the opening set when her opponent sent a shot wide.

Sabalenka pounced on world number 100 Andreeva’s serve again to grab the lead in the second set before handing the break back while attempting a chip from deep, but last year’s semi-finalist promptly surged ahead 4-2 after saving more breakpoints.