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Aryna Sabalenka powers into French Open quarterfinals

Aryna Sabalenka powers into French Open quarterfinals

PARIS — Aryna Sabalenka extended her dominant run at the French Open by dispatching Emma Navarro 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals on Monday.

And watch out, because the sun is back at Porte d’Auteuil in the southwest of Paris.

“When the sun is out, I play with a lot more happiness,” said Sabalenka, who has yet drop at Roland Garros.

She was joyful after her fourth-round win over the 22nd-seeded Navarro, showing disco-inspired dance moves on her way off the court to the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” being played loudly on the phone of No. 8 Ons Jabeur, who stood near a staircase leading to the locker room.

The second-seeded Sabalenka is one win away from her seventh straight Grand Slam semifinal. She will face the unseeded Mirra Andreeva, who reached the quarterfinals of a major for the first time after beating Varvara Gracheva 7-5, 6-2.

When Andreeva, who turned 17 a month ago, hit the winning forehand, she threw her racket over he head and let her emotions go.

“My coaches, before the match, they talk about the plan, about the tactics,” Andreeva said. “I listen, but honestly, once I step onto the court, I don’t remember anything. That’s how I always play.”

Gracheva, six years older and also born in Russia, decided to represent France in 2018 and played her first tournament as a French player in 2023.

“I’m happy for her,” Gracheva said Andreeva. “She served well, she played a very serious match.”

Andreeva became the third woman in the last 18 years to reach the quarterfinals at Roland Garros before turning 18, following Amanda Anisimova in 2019 and Coco Gauff in 2021.

Other results included No. 12 Jasmine Paolini defeating Elina Avanesyan 4-6, 6-0, 6-1, and No. 4 Elena Rybakina eclipsing Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3. Paolini and Rybakina will meet in the quarters.

“She’s a tough opponent,” Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion, said of Paolini. “She’s moving well and hitting the ball quite heavily. I’ll have to focus on my footwork.”

With temperatures in Paris approaching 72 degrees, the absence of rain allowed the matches on Court Philippe Chatrier and Court Suzanne Lenglen to proceed with an open roof.

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