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Mladenovic faces Rogers test to break new ground in Paris
June 24 2017, 05:23 | Van Peters
Spain's fourth seed Muguruza plays Kazakh 27th seed Yulia Putintseva while Mladenovic, seeded 13th, will hope she is not bothered by her back problem against American Shelby Rogers.
But she ran out of steam as the 27-year-old Bacsinszky, who had wasted two set points in the first set, chased her across the court and won the next two easily, clinching the match with a ideal drop shot.
Other Top 10 winners Friday were No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova who outlasted No. 32 Zhang Shuai 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-5, and No. 10 Venus Williams who eased past Belgian Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-1.
Bacsinszky also was sharp in her third-round match as she posted a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Tunisia's Ons Jabeur.
"I went through so much emotion in this match, I don't know what to say", Mladenovic said on-court to the fans after the match in two hours and 46 minutes.
Mladenovic is still affected on serve by her back troubles, and any slips against Muguruza on Sunday are likely to be punished.
Muguruza, however, was largely on the backfoot yesterday and had to deal with more than just her 33 unforced errors.
Mladenovic raced through the first set but Muguruza pegged her back, with the Spaniard looking much more like the player who stunned Serena Williams previous year than the one who has failed to make a single final since.
"When I was on my chair at that point, I thought it was over, but you gave me strength", she told the crowd. The Spaniard had a spring in her step while Mladenovic had pain in her back, taking time to stretch as she fell a double break down. She has never won the French Open and this is her 20th appearance in the event.
Muguruza had a below-par build-up to the tournament but has gained momentum since arriving in Paris, notably passing her first-round test against 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone with flying colours.
With the news of Timea Bacsinszky's three-set victory over Venus Williams shortly after Mladenovic's win, the realization has hit that there will be a maiden Grand Slam victor on the women's side.
In the men's draw, Rafael Nadal continued his emphatic form at Roland Garros with a straight sets win over fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.