PARIS, France - Two-time quarterfinalist Carla Suárez Navarro avoided an upset in stunning style at Roland Garros, surviving Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska, 2-6, 7-6(0), 6-0.
Yastremska came to Paris having just won her third career WTA title - and first on clay - at the Internationaux de Strasbourg. Taking on the Spanish veteran for the second straight major tournament, the 19-year-old advanced came within two points of victory before experience prevailed after one hour and 39 minutes on Court 13.
The pair played twice before in 2019, first at the Australian Open, where Yastremska triumphed to reach the third round - her best-ever Grand Slam result. The former World No.6 avenged the loss two weeks ago at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, but both matches went the distance.
Despite the quick turnaround from Strasbourg - where she played the longest final of the season against Caroline Garcia - the unseeded Ukrainian enjoyed a quick start, breaking first and securing a second break of serve to seal the opening set.
Suárez Navarro first made the last eight on the terre battue back in 2008 as a qualifier, going on to reach six more Grand Slam quarterfinals (including two last year). The crafty 30-year-old was made to employ all her defense against Yastremska's raw power, gamely holding serve as she faced two break points in the eighth game and held on as she stood two points from defeat two games later.
Despite the pressure of Yastremska's seamless service holds, Suárez Navarro nonetheless forced a tie-break, channeling her wide breadth of experience into an emphatic 7-0 Sudden Death to force a deciding set.
— Carla Suárez Navarro (@CarlaSuarezNava) May 25, 2019
The Spaniard continued her momentum in impressive style as Yastremska faded physically, calling a medical timeout at 3-0. Suárez Navarro was undeterred as she won the final three games of the match, improving to 10-1 in French Open first rounds.
In all, Suárez Navarro withstood a barrage of winners - 27 total from Yastremska - but hit 20 unforced errors to her younger opponent's 38. In the third set, she dropped just two points on her first serve.
Up next for the 2015 Rome runner-up is American Shelby Rogers, who reached the quarterfinals of Roland Garros back in 2016. Rogers is in Paris with the help of a protected ranking after having knee surgery last year, and knocked out Claro Open Colsanitas finalist Astra Sharma in straight sets earlier in the day.