No.17 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece claimed a hard-fought win over Elise Mertens of Belgium to reach the fourth round of Roland Garros for the first time in her career
Maria won 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-2 in a nearly three-hour contest.
Sakkari and Mertens had faced off many times at all levels of professional tennis dating back to 2014, from ITF Challengers to, now, Grand Slam main draws. Mertens held the slight 4-3 edge coming into their match, but Sakkari had won their only previous battle on clay.
The Greek came through again on Court Simonne Mathieu to tie up their head-to-head at four wins apiece. The Greek fired an astounding 53 winners (22 more than Mertens) to collect victory and reach the second week of a major for the third time in her career.
Maria Sakkari will now take on last year’s finalist Sofia Kenin in the round of 16. Kenin also got through a tough three-set clash when she beat American Jessica Pegula on Saturday.
“[Kenin] played the final here last year, so she’s playing good here, for sure,” Sakkari said. “You know, you don’t get easy opponents in these rounds of a Slam.”
For Greece this is the first time at Roland Garrios both Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas are going into R16.