(London) Quebecer Leylah Annie Fernandez had to admit defeat 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6) to French Caroline Garcia, 5th seed, in the second round Thursday at the Wimbledon tournament.
“I had lost some big battles this year, so I told myself that I really had to give it my all,” commented the 29-year-old Lyonnaise with a big smile of satisfaction.
Beaten last year in the round of 16 on the London turf (her best result in this tournament, already achieved in 2017), she will do at least as well this year if she defeats the Czech Marie Bouzkova (33rd) in the third round. .
In her preparation for Wimbledon, Garcia lost in the quarters in Berlin (beaten by Petra Kvitova) and retired in the quarters in Eastbourne with a sore shoulder (while trailing 6-2, 2-1 by the Russian Daria Kasatkina).
But on Monday, after an unconvincing qualification for the second round, she said she had “recovered well”.
She even took advantage of an extra day of rest before her second round due to the delay in the evolution of the tournament due to the rain.
Thursday in the first set, the 20-year-old Quebecer, a 2021 U.S. Open finalist, lined up four games in a row from 2-3 to take the upper hand.
But in the second set, it was the Frenchwoman who quickly broke to lead 2-1. She managed to hold onto her advantage and bring the match to a deciding set.
The tension went to a crescendo as the players, each winning their face-off, approached the end.
The tension did not detract from the quality of the game, they delivered a spectacular end to the match punctuated by a super tiebreaker where the aggressiveness of the French took over.
She broke away 7-3 and kept Fernandez at bay until the end, offering herself four match points at 9-5 to conclude on the second.
Canadian Denis Shapovalov beat Frenchman Grégoire Barrère 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7).
Shapovalov, the tournament’s 26th seed, took an hour and 52 minutes to seal the match. He will face Briton Liam Broady in the next round.
Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., lost 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 6-4 to 16th seeded American Tommy Paul in the second round.
On the women’s side, Ontario’s Bianca Andreescu won her first-round match 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 against Hungary’s Anna Bondar. The representative of the maple leaf, 50th in the world, will have an appointment with the Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina (no 26) in the next round.
Many matches were interrupted or postponed at the start of the tournament due to the upheavals of Mother Nature at the All England Club.
Gabriela Dabrowski of Ontario and her Serbian playing partner Aleksandra Krunic are scheduled to play their women’s doubles first round match later today against American Lauren Davis and Rosalie Van Der Hoek of the Netherlands.