Serena Williams remains the highest seed in her half of the French Open draw after a dominant third-round victory against Danielle Collins.
The American seventh seed beat compatriot Collins 6-4 6-4 and will face Kazakhstan’s 21st seed Elena Rybakina next.
Williams, 39, is one of just four top 10 seeds left in the women’s draw after Aryna Sabalenka lost earlier on Friday.
The Belarusian third seed was beaten 6-4 2-6 6-0 by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Williams is bidding to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam triumphs, but has not made it past the fourth round at Roland Garros since 2016.
Why are there so few top-10 players left in the women’s draw?
Not since 2001 have so few top-10 seeds reached the women’s third round at Roland Garros, although there are varying reasons behind the absence of so many top stars heading into the second week.
In addition to the high-profile withdrawals of Ashleigh Barty and reigning US and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, for injury and mental health reasons respectively, world number three Simona Halep pulled out pre-tournament with a calf problem.
On court, Sabalenka joined a casualty list featuring Karolina Pliskova, Bianca Andreescu and Belinda Bencic that, in addition to an injury for 11th seed Petra Kvitova, has opened the draw up considerably.
An unseeded quarter-finalist is guaranteed in the bottom half of the draw with Tamara Zidansek to meet either Romania’s Sorana Cirstea or Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in the last 16.
While that should aid Williams in her efforts to make Grand Slam history, the American is also arguably housed in the most difficult quarter of the draw.
Should she negotiate her way past Rybakina, the 39-year-old would then face Azarenka or Pavlyuchenkova in the quarter-finals.
More to follow.