The tricolour of France flew brightly as Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic bounced back from early exits in Australia to advance to the second round of the Open 6ème Sens – Métropole de Lyon on Tuesday.
Garcia, the No 3 seed, battled past fellow Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin, 6-2 2-6 6-3, while 4th-seeded Mladenovic outlasted Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu 5-7 7-5 6-2, in their first-round matches.
It took 8 match points for Garcia to put away Dodin after nearly two hours and she will face the winner of the match between Vera Lapko of Bulgaria and qualifier Golubic from Switzerland, who play on Wednesday.
Garcia, ranked as high as 4 in September 2018, was knocked out of the Australian Open in the second round by eventual champion Naomi Osaka.
Mladenovic had a tougher fight on her hands, surviving a 2-hour, 42-minute test against the 32-year Romanian, and she next plays Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan, who came through qualifying and took a clean 6-4 6-1 win over Ukraine’s Katarina Zavatska.
Battling Buzarnescu, Mladenovic eventually prevailed after winning 72.1 percent of her first-serve points and saving 6 of 12 break points.
Also on Tuesday, 7th-seeded Paula Badosa from Spain needed 3 sets to get past 188th-ranked Harmony Tan, a French wild card, 6-4 0-6 7-6(5) in a somewhat topsy-turvy affair.
The Spaniard will play Stefanie Voegele in the second round, after the veteran Swiss player fought her way past Irini Bara from Romania, 7-6(3) 6-7(5) 6-3.
Not so fortunate was Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard, who lost 7-6(7) 6-2 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus in her opener in Lyon on Tuesday.
Bouchard, given a wild-card entry into the event, was broken 6 times against the 96th-ranked Sasnovich at the WTA Tour 250 event.
The 143rd-ranked Bouchard was playing in her first main draw of the year after failing to qualify for AO21.
In a battle between 2 qualifiers, Tereza Martincova from the Czech Republic got past Italy’s Giulla Gatto-Monticone, 6-2 3-6 6-2, and she now meets the No 2 seed from France, Fiona Ferro on Wednesday.