World number one, Serena Williams, fought back from an opening set loss to dispatch Victoria Azarenka, through to the fourth round of the French Open on Saturday.
The American’s six breaks and 41 winners outnumbered the Belarussian’s 4 to 21 breaks to winners differentials on her track to a 3-6 6-4 6-2 win. She thus becomes the first woman in the open era to attain 50+ wins in all four Grand Slams.
Williams trailed the 27th seed by a break on conclusion of a 41-minute first set, which saw the 25-year-old break for a 2-0 lead on conclusion of the first two games.
The 2002 and 2013 champion broke back in the third game, but lost another service game in the sixth after which the 2013 semi-finalist claimed 2 out of the next three games to seal off a 6-3 win.
The Monte Carlo resident was firing strong groundstrokes early on in the second set and grabbed her third break to take a 2-1 lead. While the groundstrokes worked for Azarenka, Serena was having a torrid time on her’s sending few of them wide to trail 2-4.
The 19-time Majors winner took the next four games, breaking twice to tie Azarenka on a set and three break points apiece to force a decider.
She broke in the fourth game to level 2-2 and then held for a 3-2 lead in the third set, before taking five games in a row to set up match point; closing it out with a forehand winner.
Serena will face her sibling’s conqueror and countrywoman Sloane Stephens in the round of 16.
Stephens advanced to the fourth round for a fourth straight year with a 6-4 6-1 win over Tsevetana Pironkova.
Earlier at the Philippe-Chatrier, Sara Errani avenged her last-8 defeat to Andrea Petkovic from last year’s French Open with straight sets victory.
The Italian hit 28 winners and broke Petkovic 6 times en route to a 6-3 6-3 win at the same venue of her defeat a year ago.
Errani next face Julia Goerges, who followed up her second round upset over No.5 seed Caroline Wozniacki with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Irina Falconi.
Fourth seed Petra Kvitova made a walk of her third round clash with Irina-Carmelia Begu with a 6-3 6-2 win.
The victory means Kvitova is through to the second week of a Grand Slam (aside Wimbledon) for a first time since reaching the fourth round of the U.S. Open in 2012.
She will face Timea Bacsinzsky in the fourth round. The Swiss 23rd seed saw off America’s Madison Keys 6-4 6-2.