Teenagers Coco Gauff and Leylah Fernandez march on at French Open

Fernandez, the 17th seed from Canada, is being tipped to go deep into the tournament.

Andy Sims
Wednesday 25 May 2022 17:34
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Coco Gauff defeated Alison Van Uytvanck (Jean-Francois Badias/AP)
Coco Gauff defeated Alison Van Uytvanck (Jean-Francois Badias/AP)

One teenager may have departed but two more are very much still in the hunt for glory at the French Open.

US Open champion Emma Raducanu was sent packing by Aliaksandra Sasnovich but her opponent in the final at Flushing Meadows, fellow 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez, breezed through against Katerina Siniakova 6-3 6-2.

Fernandez, the 17th seed from Canada, is being tipped to go deep into the tournament, although she said: “Honestly this is the first time I’m hearing about this.

“But I’m just focusing on my own game. I have been trying to improve my game every single day, trying to get to a level where I think is deemed to be here at a top level.

“I think my team and I were doing a good job, just trying to improve every day and not thinking about wins and losses or any external voices.”

Meanwhile American 18th seed Coco Gauff, still only 18, ousted Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck 6-1 7-6 (4).

“It means a lot to be in the third round, especially after Australian Open when I lost first round, so it’s good,” Gauff said.

“I was relieved after the first match, and now I’m just playing free from there. I felt like for me personally, maybe another couple players, no one wants to lose first round.

“I think once that match is over, at least for me, I play a lot freer. Obviously every match is a lot of pressure to do well, but I think just that one in my head is always a tough one.”

Raducanu’s exit means there are no current grand slam champions in the draw for the third round – last year’s Paris winner Barbora Krejcikova lost in round one and Ashleigh Barty, holder of the other two titles, has retired.

But three-time grand slam winner Angelique Kerber, bidding to complete the full set, secured a 6-1 7-6 (2) win over France’s Elsa Jacquemot and a third-round meeting with Sasnovich.

There was a high-profile casualty in the shape of Greek fourth seed Maria Sakkari, who lost two tie-breaks against Czech Karolina Muchova.

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