Iga Swiatek’s main rivals for the French Open title eased into the third round a day after the Pole’s epic tussle with Naomi Osaka.

While world number one and defending champion Swiatek had to come from 5-2 down in the third set and save a match point against an inspired Osaka, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina enjoyed relatively stress-free passages.

Second seed Sabalenka, who has reached the semi-finals of her last six grand-slam events, dispatched Japanese world number 83 Moyuka Uchijima 6-2 6-2.

Naomi Osaka and Iga Swiatek
Naomi Osaka and Iga Swiatek played their part in an epic on Wednesday night (Jean-Francois Badias/AP)

The Belarussian admits she does not watch much tennis herself, but like everyone else at Roland Garros she was glued to Wednesday’s dramatic showdown.

“I watched yesterday. Yeah, it was just incredible to see Naomi back on the top level,” said Sabalenka.

“She played really great tennis, and it was incredible to see Iga save that match. Yeah, it was great-level match.”

Sabalenka will face her good friend Paula Badosa, who came from a set down to beat Yulia Putintseva, in round three.

“It’s always tough to play your friend, your really best friend on tour, I would say,” she added.

“It’s always tough, but we know how to manage that. We know how to separate court and life.

“So it’s always a great battle, great fight against her. I always enjoy playing against her. So we kind of, like, we’re good to separate things.”

Swiatek’s plea to spectators not to call out during points has caused a bit of a stir around Roland Garros.

Spaniard Badosa insists she prefers it when the fans make a noise.

Paula Badosa is happy for the crowd to make a noise
Paula Badosa is happy for the crowd to make a noise (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“I think she cannot complain, because I played Court eight and nine and you can hear everything,” she said.

“Like, I can hear Suzanne Lenglen, Philippe Chatrier, Court six, seven, during the points. I think she’s very lucky she can play all the time on Philippe Chatrier and she’s OK with that.

“Honestly, I like when the fans cheer and all this. I think I get pumped. Look, we had a very tough situation years ago when we were playing without fans with the Covid situation, so now, for me, I’m so happy they’re back and I think they’re very important for our sport.”

Former Wimbledon champion Rybakina, seeded fourth, defeated Dutch world number 50 Arantxa Rus 6-3 6-4.