Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: JAVIER SORIANO / AFP 23:11 p.m., May 11, 2023The day in Rome was not good for the tricolor clan. Only Caroline Garcia managed to pull out of the game. She is the last French in the running after the elimination of Alizée Cornet. On the men's side, Ugo Umbert, Adrian Mannarino and Corentin Moutet lost.
It is a hecatomb that hit the women's tournament in Rome on Thursday with the eliminations of world number 2 Aryna Sabalenka, number 3 Jessica Pegula and 2019 winner and former number 1 Karolina Pliskova, pending the entry of Novak Djokovic on Friday. Hecatomb also in the French camp where of the seven Tricolores in the running, only Caroline Garcia has won.
But it was hard for the world 4th against the Romanian Ana Bogdan (59th) who served for the match at 5-4 in the third set before losing 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. The 29-year-old Frenchwoman will face Colombian Camila Osorio (115th) to try to reach the 8th final. After the elimination of Alizé Cornet, she is the only French still in contention in the third round of the women's draw.
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In the men's draw, Adrian Mannarino (45th) was swept 6-1, 6-2 by Brazil's Thiago Monteiro (98th), Ugo Humbert (50th) had two match balls before losing to Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori (43rd) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), Jérémy Chardy (591st) did not weigh heavily against Italy's Lorenzo Sonego (48th) winner 6-2, 6-1 and Corentin Moutet lost a disjointed match to Hungary's Fabian Marozsan (135th) 6-0, 6-7 (8/10), 6-2.
Hugo Grenier (124th), drafted to replace his compatriot Quentin Halys (71st), forfeited, gave American J.J. Wolf (54th) a hard time before losing 7-5, 7-5.
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The day after the rain, lightning struck the women's draw on Thursday with the eliminations of three of its main headliners. First, it was the Czech Pliskova (14th), still finalist of the tournament in 2021, who left the Foro Italico by the back door after her defeat 7-5, 6-2 against the Hungarian Anna Bondar (93rd). Then the American Pegula was surprised by her compatriot Taylor Townsend (168th and from qualifying) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
"I'm very proud of myself," said Townsend, whose feat so far was to have reached the 1/8th finals of the US Open in 2019. Since then, she has not confirmed, but is trying to return to her best after giving birth in 2021. "I've been working really hard for two years to come back. To live moments like that," explained the 27-year-old. Later, it was another explosion that shook the center court with the elimination of the Belarusian Sabalenka as soon as she entered the competition by the American Sophia Kenin (134th) 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.
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A little more than two weeks before Roland-Garros, towards which she advanced in the skin of one of the favorites, especially after her final won in Madrid against Iga Swiatek, world number 1 and defending champion in Paris, this defeat could have enough to worry Sabalenka. But that doesn't seem to be the case. "Exhausted. I really have to recharge the batteries," she simply tweeted, obviously not too psychologically affected by her premature defeat.
It must be said that since the beginning of the year, it leads great train. By winning on Thursday, Kenin, former world No. 4, who never really confirmed her title at the Australian Open in 2020 even if she reached the final at Roland-Garros the same year, put a stop to the Belarusian's brilliant start to the season. The latter has won three of the five finals played in 2023 (WTA 500 Adelaide, Australian Open and Masters 1000 Madrid) and had never lost before the quarterfinals of the seven tournaments in which she had participated since the beginning of 2023.