Still seeking her first Slam title, No. 1 seed Simona Halep breezed by American Taylor Townsend 6-3, 6-1. 

By Associated Press
May 31, 2018

PARIS (AP) Top-ranked Simona Halep, third-seeded Garbine Muguruza and two-time champion Maria Sharapova all powered into the French Open's third round with straight-set victories Thursday.

Halep showed no signs of fatigue in beating wild-card entry Taylor Townsend 6-3, 6-1, despite playing on consecutive days.

Sharapova improved to 13-0 in second-round French Open matches by beating 50th-ranked Donna Vekic of Croatia 7-5, 6-4.

And Muguruza impressed with her easy movement around the court in a 6-4, 6-3 victory over French wild-card entry Fiona Ferro.

Halep broke the 72nd-ranked Townsend in the first game and jumped to a 5-1 lead.

Townsend dug deep in the eighth game, with Halep serving for the set, clawing back a break to slow the progress of last year's losing finalist.

Halep swiftly quelled the rebellion. Heaping pressure on Townsend's serve at 5-3, she earned herself two set points and converted the first, with a forehand winner from the baseline.

Halep tightened the squeeze in the fourth game of the second set. Townsend saved three break points, but hit a backhand long to give Halep a 3-1 lead.

From there, Halep's serve and shots that pulled Townsend around the Court Philippe-Chatrier finished the job.

She served out the last game to love, breaking into a smile after a winning volley at the net that brought up three match points.

Halep said in her post-match interview that she struggled initially against the left-hander's shots with topspin. But the score didn't show it.

Her next opponent, Andrea Petkovic of Germany, beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-0, 7-6 (5) to reach the third round.

Sharapova took a bit of time to close out her match on Court 1. She led 5-2 in the second set, then served for the win at 5-3, but was broken when she sailed an off-balance forehand wide.

She broke right back to end it, though, converting her fifth match point with a forehand return winner.

Sharapova is competing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015. She missed the clay-court Grand Slam tournament in 2016 while serving a doping suspension, then was denied a wild-card entry by the French tennis federation last year, when her ranking was too low to earn automatic entry.

The 31-year-old Russian won the title in 2012 and 2014, part of her career Grand Slam. She is seeded 28th this year.

Next for Sharapova is a matchup against sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova, the runner-up at the 2016 U.S. Open and a semifinalist in Paris a year ago. Pliskova's twin sister Kristyna lost to Serena Williams in the first round this week.

Pliskova reached the third round with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over 2015 French Open runner-up Lucie Safarova.

Muguruza's third round opponent is Sam Stosur of Australia. Ferro, ranked 257th, posed little difficulty for the 2016 champion. They exchanged breaks of serve at the start of the second set. But the Spaniard broke Ferro again in the seventh game to take the lead and closed out the win with her first match point on Ferro's serve two games later.

You May Like

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)