French Open | Korda and Baez through in Juniors
The round of the last 16 was completed in the boys singles at the French Open on Tuesday, with both Sebastians, Baez and Korda, seeded one and two respectively, already secure in their berths after winning through on Monday.
Adrian Andreev, a 17-year-old Bulgarian who would one day like to emulate his compatriot Grigor Dimitrov, is the 7th seed progressed with a 6-4 6-1 win over Brazil’s Gilbert Soares Klier Junior to book a palace in the third round.
“I just try to relax on the court and don’t try to put too much pressure on myself,” Andreev said later. “I try to enjoy it and play.”
Asked if he could reach the lofty heights of his compatriot, Andreev said: “That is very difficult to reach, you have to work very hard and be very stable in the mind, to take the right decisions and you will not know if you will do it.”
Just like 2014 Wimbledon semi-finalist Dimitrov, who was a top-ranked junior, Andreev is one of Bulgaria’s biggest tennis talents.
At the end of last year, he won both the singles and doubles at the Eddie Herr International junior championships at the IMG Academy in Florida, where he also trains.
Andreev has jumped to a career-high No 6 in the junior rankings after he won the Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan, a Grade A event, the week before the French Open.
“Probably the biggest win, for me,” Andreev said about his victory on the Italian clay.
There were wins for the two remaining Americans in the boys draw, with Brandon Nakashima defeating Rinky Hijikata of Australia 6-3 6-2, both unseeded, while No 11 seed Tristan Boyer had to come from behind to beat unseeded Sergey Fomin of Uzbekistan 5-7 6-2 6-3.
While both Nakashima and Boyer had reached the second round of a junior slam previously, this is the first time either has advanced to the third round.
In the girls event there was a big win for Iga Swiatek, who beat Latvia’s Daniela Vismane, 6-1 6-2 to move to the third round of Roland-Garros.
The 17-year-old player from Poland had surgery on her right ankle last year and returned to tennis in February after a seven-month break.
“I twisted it two years ago and I didn’t have a good rehab,” Swiatek said. “I started to play too early and it was getting worse and worse when I was playing tournaments I just needed to treat it right, finally.”
Swiatek said she had initially twisted her ankle when doing physical exercises in school, and aggravated the injury when she went to Spain to play a tournament.
During her injury break, Swiatek said she worked with a sports psychologist.
“We worked on everything, on every aspect on my life, she said. “I haven’t done that before and it really helped me, and my team was really supportive all the time.”
Swiatek, a 2016 and 2017 quarter-finalist in Paris, is confident she can go a few rounds further this year.
“I am ready for it,” she said. “I had to grow up mentally. Last year and two years ago was too early for me to go higher, but right now, I am ready. I hope to be doing great.”
The top-seeded En-Shuo Liang of Chinese Taipei, the current Australian Open champion, overcame French qualifier Alice Tubello, 6-3 2-6 6-2 in the very damp conditions in Paris.
Liang was the better player in the tough moments, taking all of her seven break point opportunities.
All the other five seeds in action on Tuesday came through, led by Maria Camila Osorio Serranno (No 3) who took out France’s Salma Djoubri, 6-4 6-1; followed by Eleaonora Molinaro (No 6) from Luxembourg defeating Elina Avanesyan from Russia, 6-2 6-2; Italy’s Elisabetta Cocciaretto (No 9) scoring a win over America’s Lea Ma, 6-3 7-5; Qinwen Zhen (No 11) from China, who defeated Russia’s Oksana Selekhmeteva, 6-4 6-4; and Leylah Annie Fernandez dispatching another Russian, Kamilla Rakhimova, 6-1 7-6(4).