Roland Garros | Auger-Aliassime and Fernandez pass the first lap

(Paris) Félix Auger-Aliassime and Leylah Fernandez had a bumpy day, but the two Quebec sensations made it through the first round at the French Open.

Posted at 8:04 a.m.
Updated at 3:32 p.m.

Auger-Aliassime triumphed for the first time in his career after losing the first two sets of a major tournament duel. He toppled Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas 2-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday.

The duel ended after more than three hours and 14 minutes, when Auger-Aliassime landed a forehand winner.

For her part, Fernandez overcame the French Kristina Mladenovic 6-0, 7-5.

For her part, Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino lacked opportunism in the first run and finally gave up in front of Coco Gauff. The American and 18and seeded won 7-5, 6-0 over the qualifying Canadian.

Auger-Aliassime, seeded ninth for the men, had lost in the first round at Roland Garros in his two previous appearances.


Photo Christophe Ena, Associated Press

Juan Pablo Varillas

For his part, Varillas was in his first career main draw match at a major tournament.

Auger-Aliassime hoped to have found his touch with a participation in the quarter-finals in Madrid, then a great battle despite a loss against Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals in Rome.

Still, he had to dip into his resources to defeat Varillas, 122and world racket.

“It was disappointing to see how things were going,” Auger-Aliassime said. I expected much better.

“I think I gave it my all on the pitch. It was an important day for me and an important victory. I really wanted to win a first game here. »


Photo ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT, Agence France-Presse

Felix Auger-Aliassime

Auger-Aliassime was broken from the start by Varillas, who was able to take control 2-0 in the first set. Varillas then broke his rival’s serve a second time in the fifth game, building a 4-1 lead. He was thus able to easily get his hands on the first run.

Things didn’t get much better in the second run for Auger-Aliassime. Varillas broke the Quebecer’s serve for the third time in the game in the third game, winning it at zero.

Two games later, Auger-Aliassme again found themselves trailing 0-40, but managed to come back to avoid seeing their rival increase their advantage.

It was only a postponement for Varillas, who got a second break of service in the second set in the seventh game, for a 5-2 advantage and a chance to serve for the set.

Varillas took advantage of an unforced error by Auger-Aliassime to win the second set at his first opportunity.

For the first time in the game, Auger-Aliassime pushed his rival in the third round. He finally generated a first break point in the fourth game and converted it, giving himself a 3-1 lead.

The Quebecer won the next three games to prolong the debate.

“It was a relief to score a first break after not being able to get one in the first two sets,” Auger-Aliassime said. To have this first break for 3-1, then to serve for 4-1, I gained a little more confidence. But I don’t think I lost confidence in my abilities during the match, because I know what level of play I can reach. »

Auger-Aliassime continued his momentum in the fourth set, breaking Varillas’ serve with a forehand winner. He broke another game in the ninth game to force a final inning.

Varillas called a medical timeout before serving at 2-3 in the fifth inning. The Peruvian hung on, but Auger-Aliassime broke his serve with a splendid forehand winner to serve for the game at 5-3.

Auger-Aliassime did not waste this opportunity and he reached the second round for the first time at Roland-Garros. He will face Argentinian Camilo Ugo Carabelli, who defeated Russian Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10-5).

In two stages for Fernandez

Fernando, 17and seed, looked set to have a less grueling day than her compatriot when she won the first set 6-0 in 29 minutes against Mladenovic.

However, the French doubles specialist built momentum by twice breaking her rival’s serve for a 3-0 lead in the second set.

Fernandez hung on and saved two set points on serve at 3-5.


Photo THOMAS SAMSON, Agence France-Presse

Canadian Leylah Fernandez returns the ball to French Kristina Mladenovic.

Then, while serving for the set at 5-4, Mladenovic allowed Fernandez to come back into the set by committing a double fault on a break point.

Fernandez got a first match point after a referee review. She converted that chance when Mladenovic committed a 10and double fault.

In the second round, Fernandez will cross swords with the Czech Katerina Siniakova, 56and in the world rankings and another doubles specialist. Siniakova defeated Croatian Petra Martic 6-4, 7-6 (6).

Fernandez won the French Open as a junior in 2019.

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