Blood Sweat and tears. Elise Mertens (WTA 15) did not receive a gift from Kazakh Zarina Diyas (WTA 93), but the Belgian eventually qualified for the third round of Roland Garros: 4-6, 6-2 and 6-4.
Mertens now faces a duel with the Greek Maria Sakkari (WTA 18) in the third round. Earlier in the day she beat Italian Jasmine Paolini (WTA 91) 6-2 and 6-3. If Mertens also manages to beat Sakkari, she will equal her best performance ever in the French capital. In 2018 she made it to the fourth round.
In addition to singles, the best Belgian tennis player is also active in doubles. Together with the Taiwanese Su-Wei Hsieh, she forms the first seed. On Wednesday, they easily advanced to the second round, at the expense of French wildcards Elsa Jacquemot and Elixane Lechemia, 6-2 and 6-3. American Amanda Anisimova and Russian Anastasia Potapova are their next double opponents on Friday.
Gillé/Vliegen and Mertens double on Friday, Joachim Gérard makes his debut
Sander Gillé and Joran Vliegen will also finish their second round in doubles on Friday. We are also looking forward to wheelchair tennis player Joachim Gérard, who will play his first game against the British Alfie Hewett. This is a reissue of last year’s final.
Mertens: “Play more aggressively after the first set”
It was not an easy first set for Mertens, who also received a warning for coaching. “The first warning of my career. Things happened in both player boxes, but I can’t let that happen, can I? Sometimes that’s part of it and I didn’t throw my racket after all.” Fortunately, the sky cleared up in set two. “I played more aggressively and got deeper into the field.”
Mertens eventually steamed through to a win in three sets and so Belgium retains its last representative in the singles at Roland Garros. “It is of course nicer if more compatriots stay in the tournament, but I am convinced that both David and Alison have enough talent and experience to get out of that difficult period.”