Paris | Garcia survives as Golubic upsets Krejcikova

Late on Sunday, French hope Caroline Garcia escaped a 1st-round scare at Roland Garros when she took the long way round to get past German qualifier Eva Lys, 4-6 7-5 6-2, on Court Philippe-Chatrier, while Viktorija Golubic from Switzerland upset Czech 2021 champion Barbora Krejcikova, 7-6(3) 6-4, on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

Honestly, I always dreamt of Roland Garros when I was younger, and now I’m lucky to be on the court and to be supported by the French public. It’s true also that in the past years the adventure stopped a bit early. I had to play difficult and complicated matches, so, every year, I want to benefit from each moment, because it’s a great chance and opportunity to play a Grand Slam at home. Caroline Garcia

“If I look at the beginning of my season, and my history, I know that my level of game can enable me to beat any player, but can I do it over two weeks?” Garcia said on Friday. “I don’t know. I have a question.

“I wouldn’t say I’m a favourite, but do I believe in my chances? Yes.”

That belief was stretched to the limit on Sunday before Garcia eventually prevailed.

Ranked No 145, Lys was trying to secure her second Grand Slam main-draw win in only her 3rd appearance, and she gave Garcia quite the scare.

Having won 3 qualifying matches here last week, Lys was bold and aggressive, taking the ball early and standing sometimes 2 feet inside the baseline to receive Garcia’s second serves.

The German continually muted the sizeable pro-French crowd and seemed on the verge of an upset, but there was a moment, with Lys serving at 4-all in the second set, when Garcia created her first plausible opening.

She ripped a forehand winner and launched into her signature fist-pump-and-scissor-kick combo, but then, serving for the set, she was broken.

Garcia responded by breaking Lys again, to love, and managed to serve it out to level the match.

The third began with 3 breaks of serve before Garcia finally held to take a 3-1 lead, and Lys, now down 2-4, was broken for a 6th and final time.

Garcia, who stands second to Elena Rybakina in aces this year, avoided her first opening-round exit here since 2015.

In fact, the Frenchwoman fired 17 for the match, and the last one, a 116 mph missile, ended the match.

When she is at her best, Garcia is a fluid, almost unconscious player, crushing serves and forehands and taking the ball almost impossibly early, especially on hard courts, but the French Open features red clay that doesn’t suit her dashing style.

As a result, her results at Roland Garros are 18-13, with her best effort reaching the quarter-finals in 2017.

“Honestly, I always dreamt of Roland Garros when I was younger, and now I’m lucky to be on the court and to be supported by the French public,” Garcia said. “It’s true also that in the past years the adventure stopped a bit early.

“I had to play difficult and complicated matches, so, every year, I want to benefit from each moment, because it’s a great chance and opportunity to play a Grand Slam at home.”

In the 2nd-round, Garcia will take on American Sofia Kenin, a 4-6 6-2 6-2 winner over Laura Siegemund from Germany.


Viktorija Golubic upset former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova in straight sets in the evening session on Sunday on Court Suzanne-Lenglen at Roland Garros

It took Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic an hour and 41 minutes to upset No 24-seeded Czech Barbora Krejcikova just before 10 pm local time, levelling their head-to-head at 3 wins apiece.

Krejcikova battled from 0-4 down to 6-5 up in the first set, but the former World No 2 could not serve out the set, and they moved into a tiebreak, where Golubic again grabbed an early 4-0 lead and held on for the one-set lead.

In the second, Krejcikova again came back from a break down, firing a backhand winner down the line to reach 4-4, but Golubic reclaimed that break in the very next game, then used a backhand to force a Krejcikova error, and converted her first match point.

Golubic reached the 2nd-round in her Roland Garros main-draw debut in 2016, but this is her first main-draw win in Paris since then.

The Swiss has peaked at World No 35 and reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2021.

As for Krejcikova, since winning the 2021 title, she has lost in the 1st round at Roland Garros 3 straight times., and although the Czech reached the Australian Open quarter-finals earlier this year, she is currently in the midst of a 5-match losing streak on tour.


Qualifier Katie Volynets defeated Aleksandra Krunic to reach round 2

© Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Amongst other late results on Day 1, Tamara Zidansek, a qualifier from Slovenia, beat Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck, 6-2 2-6 6-2; while another qualifier, Olga Danilovic from Serbia was an easy 6-1 6-2 winner over 2022 semi-finalist Martina Trevisan; and Katie Volynets, yet another qualifier from America, defeated Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic, 7-6(4) 6-2.




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