jostled, Caroline Garcia qualifies in pain for the round of 16

While the third round of the Australian Open had been fatal earlier, Saturday January 21 in the morning, to Benjamin Bonzi and Ugo Humbert – the last two Frenchmen engaged in the men’s draw, eliminated respectively by Alex De Minaur (7 -6 [7-0]6-2, 6-1) and Holger Rune (6-4, 6-2, 7-6 [7-5]) –, Caroline Garcia almost fell by the wayside. The French fought more against herself than against her opponent, Laura Siegemund, to finally reach the round of 16 (1-6, 6-3, 6-3) of the first Grand Slam of the season.

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Her jaw clenched, her eyes raised to the sky as if to seek solutions, a lot of exchanges with her clan in the stands…, far from her usual smile, Caroline Garcia showed signs of nervousness on the court facing the 158e world, in confidence after having taken out another seed, the Romanian Irina Begu (number 27), in the previous round. Facing the 4e World player and winner of the last Women’s Masters in November, the challenge was more challenging for the German, but Laura Siegemund was able to jump at the slightest opportunity, while taking advantage of the many unforced errors of the Frenchwoman.

While her ball speed could have hindered her opponent, Caroline Garcia experienced a lot of waste in her game, with bad choices and balls sometimes sent several meters outside the court. Once her first chance to make the break passed, the French was constantly in difficulty on her service games, with six break points conceded, two of which hit home for her opponent (1-6).

A better service to sound the revolt

Overwhelmed on the long exchanges and not very lucid on the short exchanges, Caroline Garcia absolutely had to pull herself together in the second set. Reassured by a good first game of service then by a shutout allowing her to lead 3-2, the Lyonnaise regained confidence, to convert a first break point in the match then confirm this gap and lead 5-2. With newfound determination, better first serves, and facing a less precise opponent – ​​with only two winners in the second set – she managed to push Laura Siegemund into a third set (6-3).

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A third set attacked by an entry break for the seeded number 4. But the German had not said her last word and continued to cast doubt on the French, who offered her the break on two double faults. Finding a little more lucidity and composure, Caroline Garcia finally managed to regain her opponent’s service and, if she did not convert her first match point, pushed the German to her limits to get out of the trap set by it (6-3).

“The last game was like the game, Siegemund read my game very well and I was very nervous, commented Caroline Garcia on the court at the end of the match. I was on the brink after the first set, but I had the opportunity to go into the second week and I had to at least try to fight. My last season was very good, but I have to start from scratch this year to win again. »

If this victory was won in difficulty, it nevertheless demonstrates the progress of the Frenchwoman on the mental level. She passes the third round of the Australian Open for the second time in twelve appearances and will try to reach the quarter-finals – which she has never played in Melbourne – against Magda Linette or Ekaterina Aleksandrova.

Australian Open: Humbert and Bonzi, the last two Frenchmen in the running, eliminated

Holger Rune (right) defeated Ugo Humbert in three sets on Saturday January 21, in the third round of the Australian Open.

Similar fate for the last two tricolor representatives in the men’s draw of the Australian Open. Ugo Humbert, 106e world, could not do anything against the young Dane Holger Rune (10e), who won 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) on Saturday January 21 in the third round of the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.

“The third set was very hard, Ugo was serving very well”, underlined the 19-year-old Dane, who almost suffered a serious injury in a fall in the first game of the second set on Saturday. At the end of the race, he twisted his right ankle and hurt his right wrist when he fell. He remained lying down for a moment and then seated on the court, before having his ankle bandaged when he changed sides. The winner of the Paris Masters 1000 in November will face Russian Andrey Rublev in 8are of final.

Same feeling of helplessness, a little earlier, for Benjamin Bonzi. The Frenchman (48e) was deceived only during one set, the first, before being crushed 7-6 (7/0), 6-2, 6-1 by Alex De Minaur (24e), on his land in Melbourne. The Australian, who will turn 24 on February 17, will face the winner of the match between Novak Djokovic (5e) and Grigor Dimitrov (28e). In 2022, De Minaur had lost in 8are final, beaten by the Italian Jannik Sinner.


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