Roland-Garros Day 4 women’s recap: Bencic out, Azarenka joins Serena in third round

Your guide to the biggest stories from the women’s side at 2021 Roland-Garros as the first round continues in Paris on Wednesday 2nd June

Belinda Bencic, Adélaïde 2021 ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 26: Belinda Bencic of Switzerland plays a shot against Coco Gauff of United States during their singles match on day five of the Adelaide International tennis tournament at Memorial Drive on February 26, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia.
  • Seeds and big names winning on Wednesday at Roland-Garros (2nd round): Aryna Sabalenka (3), Serena Williams (7), Victoria Azarenka (15), Marketa Vondrousova (20), Elena Rybakina (21) Madison Keys (23), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (31), Paula Badosa (33), Tamara Zidansek (who beat Bianca Andreescu), Sorana Cirstea (Istanbul winner and Strasbourg runner-up), Danielle Collins (2020 quarter-finalist)
  • Notable names losing on Wednesday (2nd round): Belinda Bencic (10), Veronika Kudermetova (29)
  • To read about Tuesday’s women’s coverage including wins by Ashleigh Barty and Coco Gauff, and the withdrawal of Petra Kvitova, you can click here
  • To follow our full coverage of the 2021 French Open, please visit this page.
  • To follow live results, to see the men’s draw and women’s draw, we recommend you follow the official Roland Garros website
  • You can also check out the Tennis Majors team’s breakdown of the men’s and women’s draw
  • Tomorrow’s programme at Roland-Garros will be updated here.
  • All the practical information – how to watch the tournament, how to buy tickets and everything else you could possibly need to know – are hopefully in this page.


10th seed Belinda Bencic was knocked out of the 2021 Roland-Garros Championships on Wednesday. The Swiss was defeated in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 by Russian Daria Kasatkina, the former world No 10, who is now ranked 37th in the world.

“One or two Grand Slam [runs] for sure would help me, because it’s experience and it’s always new to face these kind of matches, like quarter-finals and further,” said Kasatkina afterwards, reflecting on the prospect of going deep into the Paris draw.

“So in case that I go that far, which will be amazing always, I think for sure this experience would help me. But as I say, I have a third-round match after tomorrow, and that’s my main goal for the moment.”

Bencic’s best result at the French Open remains reaching the round of 32 back in 2019, and in her five appearances in Paris she has been knocked out three times in the second round.

2021 draw sample, 2nd round leading to 3rd round


Victoria Azarenka, the 15th seed, beat rising star Clara Tauson of Denmark, 7-5, 6-4. The Belarusian does not have a traditionally great record at Roland-Garros – this is the first time since 2015 she has reached the third round.


Serena Williams dropped the second set but recovered in style and beat Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. Williams struck 26 winners — including five aces — while prevailing in two hours and three minutes.

Next up for the 23-time Grand Slam champion is an all-American affair with Danielle Collins.


No 3 Aryna Sabalenka, the hottest player on tour dating back to last fall and among the favorites to win this tournament, continued her quest for a first Grand Slam title by beating Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-5, 6–3. Sabalenka fired 27 winners to make up for her 34 unforced errors, advancing in one hour and 30 minutes.

The Belarusian awaits Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the round of 32.


The USA’s Madison Keys – a one-time US Open finalist – beat up-and-coming Canadian Leylah Fernandez 6-1, 7-5. Although the 23rd seed went out in the first round last year, she was a quarter-finalist in 2019 and went one better the year before.


It was a straightforward progression for 20th seed Marketa Vondrousova, though, beating France’s Harmony Tan 6-1, 6-3.

The Czech reached the final in 2019 when she lost in straight sets to Ash Barty; apart from that achievement, she has never previously made the third round in Paris.

Sample of 2021 draw, from 2nd round to 3rd round


It was an absolute tussle between Veronika Kudermetova, the 29th seed, and Katerina Siniakova – but it was the Czech who won, 7-6(7), 5-7, 7-5. It is the fourth year in a row she has reached the third round or better in singles, but with Barbora Krejcikova she won the women’s doubles in Paris in 2018.

Sample of the draw, from 2nd round to 3rd round


31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova logged her best Roland-Garros result since 2016 by reaching the third round courtesy of a 6-2, 6-3 win over Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic. Although the Russian got to the 2011 quarter-finals, so far that is the only time she has been past the third round in Paris.


  • Polona Hercog got past home favourite Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-4 – but the Frenchwoman saved four match points to fend it off as best she could.
  • Tamara Zidansek also advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-1 win over American Madison Brengle
  • Romania’s Ana Bogdan is also through; she was drawn to face Naomi Osaka, who has since withdrawn from the tournament.
  • Sorana Cirstea beat 2020 quarter-finalist Martina Trevisan 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. The Italian lost five of the last six games.
  • Spain’s Paula Badosa Gibert beat Danka Kovinic 6-2, 6-0.
  • Danielle Collins defeated Anhelina Kalinina 6-0, 6-2.
  • No 21 Elena Rybakina eased past Nao Hibino 6-3, 6-1.

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