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Monday, July 4, 2022

Havlickova beats Sierra to clinch French Open junior crown

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Paris, June 4 (Ajit Weekly News) Czech tennis player Lucie Havlickova clinched the French Open junior title after beating Argentina’s Solana Sierra 6-3, 6-3 in the final, here on Saturday.

The 17-year-old Havlickova is the fifth Czech winner of the title following Renata Tomanova (1972), Regina Marsikova (1975), Hana Mandlikova (1978) and Linda Noskova (2021). Havlickova now owns a 29-6 record in the junior competition this year, having also won the Criciuma Grade A tournament in February as well as reaching finals in Vrsar and Offenbach.

The result was a culmination of a battling title run for Havlickova, who came out on top of four consecutive three-setters to reach the final. In three of those — against Luca Udvardy in the second round, Joelle Steur in the third round and Sara Bejlek in the semifinals — Havlickova had to come from a break down in the third set.

By contrast, Sierra had only lost one set en route to the final, against No.4 seed Brenda Fruhvirtova in the first round. The 17-year-old was the first Argentine to reach a Grand Slam girls’ singles final since Maria Emilia Salerni won the 2000 US Open.

However, Havlickova played a composed and efficient title match underpinned by excellent serving. She won 73 percent of the points behind her first delivery and never faced a breakpoint. Sierra also impressed with several baseline winners with her back to the wall but was undone by 35 unforced errors and three loose service games.

Havlickova will have the chance to claim a Parisian double later with compatriot Bejlek. As the No 1 seeds in the doubles draw, they will take on No 2 seeds Celine Naef and Nikola Bartunkova in the final.

Notably, Both Havlickova and Sierra have already begun to make inroads into the pro circuit. Havlickova made her WTA main draw debut as a wildcard in Prague last year, falling to Anastasia Gasanova in three sets in the first round, and is currently ranked No 863.

On the other hand, Sierra claimed her first Top 200 win over Sara Errani in the first round of the La Bisbal d’Empordà ITF W100 last month and is now ranked No 575.

–Ajit Weekly News

avn/bsk

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