Muguruza downs French wildcard for third round berth

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Garbine Muguruza cruised past French wildcard player Fiona Ferro 6-4 6-3 on Thursday in Paris to book her place in the French Open third round.

The Spaniard sealed the match with a whipped cross-court forehand, though for much of the match the number three seed struggled to find her rhythm and range on the forehand.

Muguruza, who won at Roland Garros in 2016 and heads to Wimbledon this year as defending champion, had not played against the 21-year-old Ferro before Thursday’s encounter.

“She’s young and she’s talented,” Muguruza said in a post-match interview on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Muguruza arrived in Paris as one of five women with a chance of claiming the world number one spot.

Her form leading up to the claycourt Grand Slam was mixed, exiting the Madrid Open in the third round and suffering a defeat in her opening match of the Rome Open.

But she said she felt good in Paris.

“The French Open is the tournament for me. My body is good and my tennis is following,” the Spaniard said.

Muguruza, who eases into the third round for the fifth consecutive year, hit 26 winners and 23 unforced errors, often over-cooking her forehand from the baseline.

She will face the winner of the match between 2010 French Open runner-up Samantha Stosur of Australia and 30-seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.