Aryna Sabalenka joins fellow big guns in French Open quarter-finals

Aryna Sabalenka continued to power her way through the French Open draw by pummelling Emma Navarro to reach the quarter-finals.

The big-hitting Belarusian won 6-2 6-3 and has now dropped only 18 games over her four matches.

Having won the Australian Open, Sabalenka’s record at grand slams this year now reads 11-0, and she has not lost a single set across those 11 matches.

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Aryna Sabalenka, right, is congratulated by Emma Navarro (Jean-Francois Badias/AP)

She was broken in the first game of the match, and the second seed wrapped up another comprehensive victory in an hour and nine minutes.

For the first time since last Saturday, the sun was out in Paris and the roof was open on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Sabalenka said: “With the sun out it is definitely more positive. We had a difficult few days last week with the weather, but now the roof is open with beautiful conditions.

“It was a little windy, but I was myself and tried to do my best.

“It was a tough battle. I went into it wanting to fight for every point. I expected long rallies. I had to fight to get the win.

“She is a tough opponent, but I am happy to get through the match.”

Sabalenka will face 17-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva, who ended French hopes for another year with a 7-5 6-2 win over Varvara Gracheva.

With former Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina also progressing, it means the top four seeds are all in the last eight.

Such is their form, it would take something of a major surprise for Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff and Rybakina not to make up the semi-final line-up.

US Open champion Gauff probably has the toughest draw, against eighth seed Ons Jabeur.

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Elena Rybakina beat Elina Svitolina in straight sets (Jean-Francois Badias/AP)

The 24-year-old from Kazakhstan has not exactly been renowned for her sunny disposition this week, but she said: “It’s nice to have good weather finally and play without the roof.

“The ball flies a bit more – but I think everyone enjoys good weather.”

Rybakina will face Jasmine Paolini, the 12th seed from Italy who is in her first grand slam quarter-final.

Paolini came from a set down to beat unseeded Russian Elina Avanesyan 4-6 6-0 6-1.

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