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Kenin reaches 4th round at French Open by beating Pegula

Sofia Kenin advanced to the fourth round of the French Open for the third consecutive year by winning a seesaw match on Saturday against Jessica Pegula, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in a battle of Americans.

Kenin is the highest-seeded player left in the women's draw at No. 4, and she has shaken a slump with her return to Roland Garros, where she was the runner-up to Iga Swiatek in October.

The No. 28-seeded Pegula rallied from a 0-3 start to win the first set, but Kenin began stepping into the court to take charge of rallies, especially with a backhand that produced two dozen winners. She hit 48 winners to 18 for Pegula.

United States's Jessica Pegula eyes the ball as he plays a return to United States's Sofia Kenin during their third round match on day 7, of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, Saturday, June 5, 2021. (AP PhotoMichel Euler)

“I’m proud of myself for just fighting out there and battling out," Kenin said.

Kenin had 10 double faults and was broken five times but held in her final four service games to close out the win. The 2020 Australian Open champion, who was sidelined by an appendectomy in February, improved to 10-8 this year.

American Sloane Stephens, who is ranked 59th and is out of the top 50 for the first time since 2017, advanced by beating 18th-seeded Karolina Muchova 6-3, 7-5. Stephens, the runner-up in 2018, will next face Barbora Krejcikova, who upset No. 5 Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2.

United States's Sofia Kenin reacts after winning a point as she plays against United States's Jessica Pegula during their third round match on day 7, of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, Saturday, June 5, 2021. (AP PhotoMichel Euler)

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were all on the schedule against unseeded players.

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United States's Sofia Kenin serves to United States's Jessica Pegula during their third round match on day 7, of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, Saturday, June 5, 2021. (AP PhotoMichel Euler)