Victoria Azarenka French Open 2021

Azarenka out as draw continues to open up for Serena

Serena Williams’ chances of making the French Open final continue to grow as potential foe Victoria Azarenka is ousted in the fourth round.

The Belarusian faced Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the last 16 and got off to a strong start by winning the first set, but eventually fell to the Russian in three sets 7-5, 3-6, 2-6 after just over two hours on-court.

Azarenka would have been the quarter-final opponent for Serena Williams if both women won, but now Williams would play Pavlyuchenkova if she defeats Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan.

For Pavlyuchenkova, it’s a big achievement at the French Open, reaching the quarter-finals for the first time since 2011, and has made the last eight at every Slam but no further in her career.

Serena Williams has not made a Grand Slam final since the 2019 US Open, and has not made a French Open final for five years, losing to Muguruza in 2016.

While it has been made clear that Serena made the move to play Roland Garros this year in order predominantly to get more match play before Wimbledon, the American will no doubt look to continue surging on the clay in Paris.