PARIS – Bethanie Mattek-Sands beat Varvara Lepchenko 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 Wednesday to become the first U.S. woman other than Serena or Venus Williams in the French Open's third round since 2006.
The 34th-ranked Mattek-Sands lost in the first or second round at 19 of her previous 20 Grand Slam tournaments. The exception: She reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2008.
The WTA says that Mattek-Sands' victory Wednesday means she is projected to pass seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in the rankings released after the French Open. That would make Mattek-Sands the No. 2 American woman, behind only Serena Williams.
Serena Williams is 17th this week, and Venus Williams is 30th. Both withdrew from the French Open because of health issues and injuries.