French Open: Jabeur Races To Second Round; Mirra Wins In Debut - Eastern Mirror
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French Open: Jabeur races to second round; Mirra wins in debut

By IANS Updated: May 30, 2023 11:29 pm

Paris: The No.7 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia kicked off her French Open 2023 campaign with a comfortable 6-4, 6-1 success over Bronzetti in just 70 minutes, at the Roland Garros here on Tuesday.

The Tunisian, who reached the Wimbledon and US Open finals last year, was broken while serving for the opening set at 5-2 but closed it out at the second time of asking to secure a one-set advantage in 40 minutes.

Jabeur went back to basics in the second set. A straightforward series of big serves captured the set at the second time of asking, and Jabeur did not attempt another drop shot for several games as she took a 5-0 second-set lead.

The artist in her couldn’t resist bringing it back out for another flourish, though. She conjured two more drop-shot winners in the final game, taking her total to 16 overall, en route to breaking Bronzetti for the victory.

Since the start of the 2022 season, Jabeur has won 24 matches on clay — only Iga Swiatek (30) has won more.

The 28-year-old awaits one of two Frenchwomen, Selena Janicijevic or Oceane Dodin, in the last 64.

In other action, playing the first Grand Slam main-draw match of her career, teenage qualifier Mirra Andreeva goes through to the second round with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Alison Riske-Amritraj.

The 16-year-old Andreeva came through qualifying without dropping a set, and will now face French wildcard Diane Parry who stunned No.25 seed Anhelina Kalinina 6-2, 6-3 shortly after on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

The youngest player in this year’s main draw, extended her pro record this year to 21-2 with the win. She is yet to drop a set at the French Open through four matches so far.

China’s Zhang Zhizhen makes history reaching second round

For the first time in the Open era, a man from Chinese mainland has secured a place in the second round of men’s singles at the red dirt Grand Slam. Zhang, ranked as the world’s No. 71, was leading 6-1, 4-1 when his Serbian opponent, Dusan Lajovic, was forced to retire due to an injury at the French Open, reports Xinhua.

Amid waving Chinese flags on Court 5 in Roland Garros, Zhang started the match strong, breaking Lajovic four times to sweep the first set.

Zhang, aged 27, then broke in the fourth game and held his own serve to surge to a 4-1 lead in the second set, after which Lajovic was unable to continue playing.

Next up for Zhang will be Argentine qualifier Thiago Agustin Tirante, who defeated Dutch 25th seed Botic van de Zandschulp to advance.

Born in Shanghai, Zhang was one of three men’s singles players from China participating in the clay-court major this year. Earlier on Monday, Shang Juncheng, the youngest of the trio, was a set away from claiming his first win before succumbing to a challenging five-set defeat to Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas.

The 18-year-old, who came through qualifying in Paris, lost his first-round match 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in a marathon that lasted three hours and 22 minutes.

Shang seemed poised to progress further when he showed dominance in the second set, breaking twice in the fourth and eighth games to take a two-set lead.

But Varillas, ranked 94th, staged a robust comeback while Shang grappled with a left wrist injury that forced him to call for a medical timeout in the fifth set.

The world’s No. 200 failed to earn a single break in the remaining three sets, only to see his opponent turn the tide and clinch his first Grand Slam win.

Varillas will next face Spanish veteran Roberto Bautista Agut, the 19th seed, after Agut dispatched another Chinese player, Wu Yibing, 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-1.

The 23-year-old, arriving in Paris as the highest-ranking Chinese men’s player at No. 54, also had breakthroughs when he became the first male player from Chinese mainland to claim a Grand Slam main draw win in the Open era at last year’s US Open.

Another significant moment came in February, when Wu became the first Chinese male player to win an ATP Tour title, defeating John Isner in the final of the Dallas Open.

The 54th-ranked Chinese player will team up with Argentina’s Pedro Cachin to compete in the men’s doubles.

By IANS Updated: May 30, 2023 11:29:00 pm
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