Paris | Parry toppled as most juniors seeds prevail
While the two top seeds in the boys’ singles at the French Open came through after having been pushed, a pre-tournament favourite in the girls was upset on Tuesday, with 2nd-seeded Diane Parry from France stunned by Australia’s Annerly Poulos, 6-3 6-4.
Parry had received a wild card into the women’s main singles draw and won her first round match, as well as two rounds in the women’s doubles tournament.
Top seed Leylah Fernandez of Canada advanced safely enough, defeating Spain’s Marta Custic, 6-0 6-3, to reach Wednesday’s third round.
With no Brits in either draw, Great Britain might lay unofficial claims to Joanna Garland, who was born in Stevenage and raised in Chinese Taipei since she was 10, and so plays under the Taiwanese flag.
After her run in Paris, Garland will be returning ‘home’ to rejoin her parents and two brothers in the UK for the remainder of the season.
For now she is focused on success in the junior ranks at Roland Garros.
Trailing 15-year-old qualifier Diana Shnaider in the second round, a player who beat her in straight sets at JA Milan just two weeks ago, 17-year-old Garland was a set and a break down before successfully turning the match around.
“I was starting to go a bit mad,” she admitted later.
Garland, who graduated from high school on the day of the match, held her composure and worked her way back into the second set.
“She can be quite unstable,” the No 10 seed said of her Russian opponent, whose trademark spotty bandana has burst onto the scene in the space of 12 months.
“I told myself to stay in the match, keep going and try to get a break, and go from there.”
The contest hinged on a match point for Shnaider in the second-set tiebreak but, when that chance had passed, Garland ran away with the match, surging to a 1-6 7-6(7) 6-2 win to reach the third round.
Even in these fledgling years of her career, Garland believes the experience of having been at Roland Garros last year proved pivotal on Tuesday.
“I think you come in with a different attitude,” explained Garland, who reached the quarter-finals in 2018.
“When you play a Grand Slam for the first time, it is more about the experience. It’s almost fun, actually – there’s no pressure. And I went through to the quarters, which was alright.
“This year, you know how it works. You get here and you know how to sort out practice and getting your way around the grounds. A seeding gives you a bit of confidence, for sure.
“I don’t think winning a Grand Slam is too far out of my reach. That was my goal for this year.
“It’s tough, of course, but it is doable. Semis would be good here. Top 300 WTA was supposed to be a goal for the end of the year, but we try not to focus on the rankings – it’s more about improving, more about the journey.”
American hopes were dashed when two girls lost their second round matches, with No 4 seed and Milan Grade A champion Alexa Noel beaten by Ane Mintegi Del Olmo of Spain, 6-4 6-1, and 6th-seeded Hurricane Tyra Black eliminated by Taisya Pachkaleva of Russia, 6-2 6-3.
Another seed to depart was Malta’s Helene Pellicano, the 16th seed, who fell to Daria Snigur from Ukraine, 6-3 6-4.
All the other remaining seeds in the girls draw made safe passage to the next round, which will be completed on Wednesday.
After winning the Australian Open doubles title in January, boys No 2 seed Jonas Forejtek captioned a post on Instagram with the hashtag #singlesinprogress.
Since then, he has not lost a junior singles match, claiming the J1 Vrsar and JA Milan titles in the lead-up to Paris, as well as an impressive spell on the ITF World Tennis Tour.
“I got to the finals in of the M15 in Antalya, and after that I was flying to the Czech Republic and qualified for a Challenger in Ostrava,” Forejtek explained.
“I have to say that I didn’t play so good, but it was a good experience.”
His doubles campaign may have ended in the first round in Paris, but having beaten Brazil’s Matheus Pucinelli de Almeida, 7-6(4) 6-4, his singles tournament remains on track.
“I’m really focused on my singles here,” the Czech added. “I like my singles – doubles I’m playing for practice on my returns and serves.
“I want to win a junior Grand Slam and then I’ll start playing more ITF World Tennis Tour events. Hopefully I will make the Junior Masters, then it will be time to turn pro.”
Top seed Lorenzo Musetti was also pushed into a tiebreak before winning through in straight sets against Gauthier Onclin from Belgium, 6-3 7-6(1).
The only seeded boy to lose on Tuesday was No 8 seed Bu Yunchaokete of China, who lost to Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan, 6-2 6-1, in a meeting of former Junior Orange Bowl 14s champions, which Yunchaokete won in 2016 and Shintaro in 2017.
Fifteen-year-old Martin Damm was the sole American singles winner on Day 3, with the 10th seed claiming a 6-3 6-2 win over Alibek Kachmazov of Russia, who had reached the final at the Grade 1 in Belgium last weekend.
Damm is the son of former doubles World No 5, Martin Damm and while he was too young to remember his father’s 2006 US Open doubles win, he recalls the trips to Wimbledon and Paris with his brothers.
“I got to see the biggest players for the first time, which was pretty cool, and the Eiffel Tower,” said Damm after booking his berth in the third round.
This is just his second junior Grand Slam and having made 3 significant finals so far this season, Damm is feeling good about his game after a tough 2018.
“Last year was a bit of a struggle for me, so to start off the year very well and play in the bigger tournaments, and doing well there with the better players – even with a couple of tough losses – I’m super happy with where I am now,” said the lofty American, who puts his comfort on clay down to the family’s Czech roots.
“I like it a lot actually,” Damm said. “Obviously at first I didn’t like it because I’m pretty tall – and I was pretty clumsy a couple of years ago! But now that I’m a little stronger I for sure feel more comfortable on it.”
Damm will face No 5 seed Thiago Tirante of Argentina in the third round Wednesday, with Tirante holding a 2-0 edge in their head-to-head encounters.
Tirante defeated Damm in two Grade As this year, in the final of the February tournament in Porto Alegre Brazil and the semi-finals of the Milan tournament two weeks ago, both times in three sets.