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French Open: Halep, Sharapova move to third round

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Maria Sharapova AV 1Top seed and Romanian tennis ace Simona Halep and Russia’s Maria Sharapova comfortably beat their opponents and progressed to the third round of the French Open here on Thursday.

Halep, who is currently ranked No. 1 in WTA ranking, defeated Taylor Townsend, 6-3, 6-1, to progress to the next round of the Roland Garros series.

Sharapova, who made a comeback to the French Open for the first time since 2015, after serving a doping ban in 2016 and refused a wildcard entry in 2017, comfortably saw off Croatia’s Donna Vekic, 7-5, 6-4.

Spaniard Rafael Nadal, got the better of Guido Pella of Argentina, 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 to progress to the third round, thereby dominating on his favourite clay court surface.

The Spanish tennis maestro, who is bidding to clinch his 11th French Open trophy, will match Margaret Court’s all-time record for most singles titles at the same Grand Slam event if he lifts the title again.

Nadal continued his streak of not losing a set at the Roland Garros since 2015 and has an impressive record of 81-2.

Meanwhile, American tennis star Serena Williams continued her red-hot form at the French Open when she saw off Ashleigh Barty of Australia, 3-6, 6-3, 5-4.

The former world number one had earlier made a successful return to the French Openby defeating Kristyna Pliskova of Czech Republic 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.

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