Roland-Garros Day 6 women’s recap: Serena, Azarenka power on, Sabalenka knocked out

Your guide to the biggest stories from the women’s side at 2021 Roland-Garros as the third round begins in Paris on Friday 4th June. A warning, though – the weather forecast suggests the action will be much interrupted due to rain and thunderstorms

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  • Notable names winning on Friday at Roland-Garros (3rd round): Serena Williams (7), Victoria Azarenka (15), Marketa Vondrousova (20), Elena Rybakina (21), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (31), Paula Badosa (33)
  • Notable names losing on Friday (3rd round): Aryna Sabalenka (3), Madison Keys (23)
  • To read about Thursday’s women’s coverage including wins by Iga Swiatek and Elina Svitolina plus Ash Barty’s departure, you can click here
  • To follow our full coverage of the 2021 French Open, please visit this page.
  • To follow live results and 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 (and by the way, today’s schedule is 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.


No 7 seed Serena Williams progressed powered into the fourth round at the expense of fellow American Danielle Collins. Williams won 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 25 minutes, coming back from a 4-1 down in the second set.

“That felt really good for me,” the 39-year-old said of her comeback. “Things were not going my way. It’s not like she gave me those games. I had to earn it and turn it around. That was really positive for me going into the next match.”

Next up for the 23-time Grand Slam champion is No 21 Elena Rybakina.


Victoria Azarenka put in an impressive display to get past Madison Keys in quick time, triumphing in an enthralling contest 6-2, 6-2. The Belarusian, seeded 15th, has not reached the fourth round of the French Open since 2013 – when she reached the semi-finals.

“Right from the beginning, I knew it would be a lot of intensity,” she said in her on-court interview before adding that the changeable Parisian weather conditions had altered her preparation. “This morning was quite disastrous. I tried to stay focused on my game, there were way too many things happening…. I wasn’t sure whether it would be raining or we would play with a roof!”

She was joined in the fourth round by long-time rival Serena Williams, who beat fellow American Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-4.


Fourth seed Aryna Sabalenka — one of the favourites for the tournament — fell in three sets to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, seeded 31st. The Russian came through 6-4, 2-6, 6-0.

The pair had played a month ago in the semi-final of the Mutua Madrid Open, when the Belarusian won in straight sets 6-2, 6-3.


Paula Badosa saved a match point in the second set and ended up defeating Ana Bogdan 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 on Court Simonne-Mathieu. In what was arguably the best match of the tournament to date, Badosa triumphed after two hours and 51 minutes.


  • Elena Rybakina, the 21st seed, won in straight sets against Elena Vesnina, 6-1, 6-4.
  • Tamara Zidansek will play her first ever Grand Slam fourth round after beating Katerina Siniakova 0-6, 7-6(5), 6-2.
  • Romania’s Sorana Cirstea defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-2.
  • No 20 Marketa Vondrousova, the 2019 French Open runner-up, dismissed Polona Hercog 6-3, 6-3

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