French tennis internationals: left-handed battle with historical flavor

French tennis internationals: left-handed battle with historical flavor

PARIS | In a duel of lefties, Leylah Fernandez will try this Tuesday to become the first Canadian to reach the semifinals of Roland-Garros since Eugenie Bouchard eight years ago.

versus 17me frontrunner in center, starting at 6:00 am Quebec time, the intriguing Martina Trevisan will be on her feet. At 28, the Italian currently occupies the best position of her career, 59me.

In tennis, clashes between two “left legs” are rare. That’s just nine to be ranked among the top 100 players in the WTA.

Deprived of this ascendancy she has over most of her rivals – hitting from the left noticeably changes the trajectories of the balls – the Quebecer expects a big challenge on Tuesday.

“To another difficult match”, said Leylah, who has already won in three sets her last two opponents, the Swiss Belinda Bencic (14me seed) and the American Amanda Anisimova (27me).

“I’m going to have to find a way to counter it, this left-handed person,” he said.


Leylah Fernández in action during her match against Switzerland's Belinda Bencic on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Leylah Fernández in action during her match against Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic on Friday.

One of the favorites

More a regular at ITF tournaments than at the WTA big tables, Trevisan isn’t in uncharted territory so far in the second week.

Against all odds, he also reached the quarterfinals two years ago in Paris, after retiring from qualifying.

Lavalloise, 19, is meanwhile making his first appearance at this stage of the French tournament. And, on paper, the picture seems quite open, at least until the end.

The only two players ranked higher than her still in contention in Paris, Poland’s Iga Swiatek (1D) and the American Jessica Pegula (11me), are on the other side. The two will meet in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Some European media see Leylah, now nicknamed “Clay-lah”, a contraction between her given name and the English translation of “clay”, as one of the players who could shake Swiatek in Saturday’s final.

She and another young racket, American Coco Gauff, 18me favourite, whom Fernández will find in the semifinals if they both win on Tuesday.

all very dangerous

But if nine of the top 10 in the world fell before the round of 16, it is because the players who are still at the Porte d’Auteuil are also very dangerous, the Quebecer believes.

“All the girls that are still here are very good,” Fernandez noted humbly. I work very hard, but they also have that mentality of wanting to win. I think the image is still up. There will be no easy game. »

live from paris

A hug from Thierry Henry

On Sunday, after her match against American Amanda Anisimova, Leylah Fernandez, a huge soccer fan, was delighted to have played against former soccer star Thierry Henry, who also managed the Montreal Impact. But Fernandez didn’t just play against Henry, who also gave a standing ovation at the end of the hard-fought Round of 16 match over the centre-back. She also met him a few hours later, near the tournament’s press conference room, and was able to give him a hug. “I feel a lot of gratitude for being in the quarterfinals. […] But my best moment of the game was seeing Thierry Henry in the stands,” the young athlete wrote on her Instagram account, sharing a photo of her encounter with the former striker.

5.1 million French for Nadal and Felix

The Philippe-Chatrier stands were almost full this Sunday for the round of 16 match between Quebecois Félix Auger-Aliassime and Spaniard Rafael Nadal. But it wasn’t just from the middle that the French saw Felix push the man who won the title 13 times at Roland-Garros in five rounds. According to one of the Twitter accounts of France Télévisions, a chain that broadcasts daytime matches in Paris, there were also up to 5.1 million viewers watching this confrontation.


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