Muchova finally manages to hold: she had to work for that, and this is shaping up to be a closely-fought – and very entertaining – affair. 1-1.
Muchova tries a drop shot for the first time but Stephens runs it down easily and puts away a forehand winner. Back to deuce aagain.
Muchova is now having to work to hold her first service game. Stephens takes it to deuce after a marathon rally, both players hitting wonderfully well early in this match. Muchova grabs advantage, but Stephens stays aliver with an excellent forehand on to Muchova’s toes as the Czech comes forward, and she can only direct it into the net.
Sloane Stephens holds serve against Karolina Muchova to begin their third-round match. It was an interesting first game, with both players hitting the ball sweetly and powerfully. Muchova produced one brilliant clean backhanded winner on Stephens’ second serve, but Stephens generally had the best of the rallies and she is on the board in solid style.
Here is Tumaini Carayol’s report from yesterday, including Serena Williams’ win against Danielle Collins, as well as Aryna Sabalenka’s defeat by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova:
Sloane Stephens v Karolina Muchova (seeded 18) is first up on Court Simonne Mathieu, a match I will focus on to begin with. I’ll bring you live scores from across the other courts, of course. If you have any thoughts on the day’s action, you can drop me an email or tweet @LukeMcLaughlin.
As the days tick by at Roland Garros and the field thins out, the big guns are naturally becoming more noticeable in the order of play: the men’s singles today sees Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal take to the clay for their third-round matches. Nadal, the 13-times French Open champion, will go into battle later today against Cameron Norrie, the British No 2, while Djokovic takes on Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania and Federer meets the left-handed German Dominik Koepfer.
British fans will be fascinated to see how Norrie gets on: he was impressively consistent in his second-round win against Lloyd Harris, but will he have the weapons to trouble the king of clay? We will find out from around 1.15pm.
In the women’s competition, a few big names have admittedly fallen early: Naomi Osaka withdrew, sparking a global debate about mental health and media coverage which rumbles on, while Ash Barty, the world No 1, was forced to retire from the tournament with a hip injury. The reigning champion Iga Swiatek of Poland is still very much in contention, however, in ominous form, and is clearly feeling increasingly confident about a second title. Swiatek faces a potentially tricky tie against 30th seed Estonian Anett Kontaveit this afternoon, scheduled on court at 3pm. Barbora Krejcikova will be the opposition for Elina Svitolina (5) on Philippe-Chatrier from 11am, while the fourth seed Sofia Kenin meets her American compatriot Jessica Pegula on Court Suzanne Lenglen. Coco Gauff v Jennifer Brady is another all-American affair from 3.15pm.
There is light cloud covering Paris at the moment but no rain is expected, and the sun is scheduled to peep through the clouds later in the day. Let’s get started!