French tennis internationals: battle of the left with a historical flavor

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

• Also read: Felix shook the earth

• Also read: Roland-Garros: Call him “Clay-lah”

In front of the 17the favorite at the power plant, from 6:00 am Quebec time, will have the intriguing Martina Trevisan. At 28 years old, the Italian currently holds the best position of her career, 59e.

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

Deprived of this rise that it has over most of its rivals – hitting from the left significantly changes the trajectory of the balls – the Quebecker expects a big challenge on Tuesday.

“In another difficult match,” said Leylah, who has already beaten her last two opponents in three sets, 14-year-old Swiss Belinda Bencic.e seed) and the American Amanda Anisimova (27e).

“I’ll have to figure out how to counter it, this left-wing person,” he said.

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

Photo: AFP

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

One of the favorites

More common in ITF tournaments than in WTA big tables, Trevisan is not in unfamiliar territory until the second week.

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

La Lavalloise, 19, is taking part in her first appearance in this phase of the French tournament. And, on paper, the picture seems rather open, at least until the end.

The only two better ranked players than her that will still be played in Paris, the Polish Iga Swiatek (1D) and the American Jessica Pegula (11e), are on the other side. They will face the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Some European media see Leylah, now nicknamed “Clay-lah”, as a contraction between her first 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, 18e favorite, 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 is because the players still at the Porte d’Auteuil are also very dangerous, Quebec believes.

“All the girls who are still here are very good,” said Fernández humbly. I work hard, but they also have this mindset of wanting to win. I think the picture is still ready. 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 great football fan, was delighted to have played against football star Thierry Henry, who also directed the Montreal Impact. . But Fernández not only played against Henry, who also applauded standing at the end of the contested round of 16 match at the center. She also met him a few hours later, near the press conference room of the tournament, and was able to hug him. “I am just grateful to be in the quarter-finals. […] But my best moment of the match was to see Thierry Henry in the stands “, the young athlete wrote on her Instagram account, sharing a photo of her meeting with the former striker.

5.1 million French for Christmas and Felix

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

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