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French Open: Aryna Sabalenka brushes aside Moyuka Uchijima to reach third round

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World No 2 Aryna Sabalenka breezed past Japanese qualifier Moyuka Uchijima in straight sets on Thursday to reach the third round of the French Open.

Uchijima, playing in the second round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, could not cope with Sabalenka’s powerful serve and groundstrokes as she succumbed 6-2 6-2 to the second seed.

Sabalenka won six points in a row at the start of the match before Uchijima finally began to settle her nerves and won her opening service game.

But, at 3-2, Uchijima would be broken by the Belarusian, Sabalenka pouncing on a break point with a fierce winner before taking the first set in 29 minutes without dropping another game.

Uchijima wore a sombre expression during the changeover before the second set and she simply had no answers for the power of Sabalenka, who also played some telling drop shots.

The Japanese No 1 afforded herself a smile when she got the better of Sabalenka on a long rally to make it 4-2 in the second set, but the two-time Australian Open champion refocused to save a break point before breaking Uchijima’s serve once more to seal an emphatic victory.

Sabalenka will next face either Paula Badosa or Yulia Putintseva in the third round at Roland Garros.

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