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Rogers proving she belongs on French Open Day 4

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 25: Shelby Rogers of the United States plays a forehand during the Women's Singles second round match against Elena Vesnina of Russia at Roland Garros on May 25, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
May 25, 2016 03:37 PM

By Ashley Marshall, USTA.com

Shelby Rogers may be exploring uncharted territory in the French capital this week, but the American is proving she can hang with top-ranked players on the red Parisian clay.

Rogers backed up her first-round upset of No. 17 seed Karolina Pliskova with another impressive win on Wednesday, defeating Russia’s Elena Vesnina, 6-4, 6-2, on Day 4 at Roland Garros.

The 23-year-old hit 29 winners, converted five of nine break-point chances and won six of seven points at the net against doubles specialist and world No. 49 Vesnina, who won the 2013 French Open women’s doubles title with Ekaterina Makarova.

Currently ranked 108th in the world, Rogers (pictured above) will climb back inside the Top 100 when the next rankings are released, but she has her sights set on bigger things in the immediate future.

After upsetting Pliskova in the first round on Monday, Rogers will now look to defeat her third Top 50 player in a row when she faces 10th-seeded Petra Kvitova, a French Open semifinalist in 2010, in the third round.

Once ranked as high as No. 70, Rogers’ appearance in the third round at Roland Garros marks the deepest she has ever been at a Grand Slam. She reached the third round of the US Open last summer but had previously never been past the second round in Paris, where she lost in the first round on her past two visits.

The South Carolina native has defeated three Top 50 players in succession just once in her career, when she toppled Carla Suarez Navarro (No. 16), Camila Giorgi (No. 40) and Sara Errani (No. 14) on the clay of Bad Gastein in July 2014.

Elsewhere on Day 4, No. 15 seed John Isner toppled Britain’s Kyle Edmund, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, and 23rd-seeded Jack Sock beat Germany’s Dustin Brown, 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-2.

Isner will face 31-year-old Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili in the third round following his surprise victory over No. 19 seed Benoit Paire. Should Isner beat Gabashvili – he has lost two of their past three meetings, including in the round of 16 on the clay of Houston last year – he will meet the winner of the Andy Murray-Ivo Karlovic matchup.

Sock, meanwhile, will face lefty Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain for the right to play either No. 8 seed Milos Raonic or Andrej Martin in the fourth round.

On the women’s side, Sloane Stephens beat Veronica Cepede Royg, 7-6(0), 6-1, on Court 1 in the last match of the day. The 23-year-old will now play world No. 102 Tsvetana Pironkova, who upset No. 16 seed Sara Errani, in the round of 32 later this week.

In other results for Americans, Bjorn Fratangelo fell to No. 9 seed and hometown favorite Richard Gasquet in straight sets on Court Suzanne-Langlen. And CoCo Vandeweghe served for a place in the third round but eventually fell to Irina-Camelia Begu, 10-8 in the third set, in three hours and 38 minutes, the longest match on the WTA this year.