|Dates: 27 September – 11 October Venue: Roland Garros, Paris|
|Coverage: Selected radio and text commentaries on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website, plus daily reports and analysis|
Top seed Simona Halep underlined why she is widely considered the French Open favourite by thrashing American teenager Amanda Anisimova to reach the last 16 at Roland Garros.
Romania’s Halep, 29, needed just 54 minutes to win 6-0 6-1 in Paris.
Halep won her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros in 2018 and the next step towards another is a fourth-round match against Polish teenager Iga Swiatek.
Third seed Elina Svitolina also progressed with a straight-set victory.
The 26-year-old Ukrainian won 6-4 7-5 in one hour and 40 minutes against Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Halep ruthless against out-of-sorts Anisimova
Few players – if anyone – have been considered as much of a favourite for the women’s singles at a Grand Slam in recent years as Halep is generally perceived to be at Roland Garros.
The draws have been wide open over the past few years, leading to the crowning of 11 different champions in the past 15 majors.
Halep, however, came into the event as the player to beat after winning back-to-back titles on the clay in Prague and Rome.
A natural clay-courter, Halep’s chances have also been boosted by the absence of defending champion Ashleigh Barty, who does not want to leave Australia during the coronavirus pandemic, and US Open champion Naomi Osaka.
Here, she demonstrated her credentials with a ruthless win over 19-year-old Anisimova, which avenged the American’s surprise victory in their quarter-final meeting at Roland Garros last year.
The rematch was billed as one of the highlights of day six – but it did not live up to the hype.
Once Anisimova was unable to take any of five break points in Halep’s first service game of the match, she became frustrated and cut a sorry figure as the Romanian took control.
Halep’s sharp movement and relentless returning game exposing Anisimova’s heavy footwork, with the American producing 14 unforced errors as Halep won the opening set in 23 minutes.
Things did not improve for Anisimova in the second set, despite odd glimpses of her ball-striking ability.
She was unable to settle and looked edgy throughout, hitting another 18 unforced errors in the second set as a focused Halep took full advantage to claim her 17th straight win.
“I played a really good match, I was really aggressive,” said Halep, who made just seven unforced errors.
“I knew I had to change something from last year, I wanted to be better than that and I was.”
‘Focused’ Svitolina adapts in comfortable win
Svitolina is aiming to win the first Grand Slam title of her career on a surface which she considers her most natural.
After disappointing third-round exits in 2018 and 2019, she has reached the second week at Roland Garros this time around.
Alexandrova double-faulted to hand her opponent two match points and then went long to see Svitolina safely through.
“It’s always nice to be in the second week of a Grand Slam and have a chance to go deep into the tournament, that’s always the goal,” said Svitolina.
“It was not easy, going into the match I knew she would strike the ball hard and flat, so I had to adjust quickly with my feet. It was important to stay focused.”
She will face France’s Caroline Garcia or Belgian 16th seed Elise Mertens next.
Swiatek, 19, booked her spot against Halep with a 6-3 6-2 win against 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard.