PARIS, France - French player Fiona Ferro is through to the third round at Roland Garros for the first time in her career after taking down No.14 seed Elena Rybakina in three sets.
To the delight of the limited fans watching on Court Philippe Chatrier, Ferro recovered after dropping the second set and fired 36 winners past Rybakina en route to a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 victory.
“In the second set I think I got a bit negative, I didn’t like my spirit, and the beginning of the third set it was a little bit the same,” Ferro reflected in her post-match press conference. “But then I found a new breath, and it was much better. I think the crowd helped me find that breath, and also my family. I’m happy to be through.
“I just tried to use their energy, and l was looking at my family and my coach a lot to give me energy.”
Coming into Paris, Ferro was hoping home soil would inspire more victories after lifting her second career trophy at the Palermo Open, her only tournament since the season’s restart.
“It was not really a decision [not to play until Roland Garros], because I had a rib injury [after Palermo] and I couldn’t practice for a few weeks,” Ferro said. “I could still do some fitness. I took back my racquet two or three weeks ago… but I had to take some rest.”
Her opponent Rybakina, from Kazakhstan, was ranked World No.141 at Roland Garros last year as a qualifier, but returned as the No.14 seed after a breakthrough year that saw her reach win a trophy in Hobart and reach finals in Shenzhen, St. Petersburg and Dubai, as well as her first final of the WTA’s restart last week in Strasbourg.
The win marks Ferro’s best result at Roland Garros, and she equals her career-best Grand Slam run to this stage at 2019 US Open. She’s one of three French players left standing in the third round at Roland Garros, along with Caroline Garcia and wildcard Clara Burel.
Ferro will face Patricia Maria Tig of Romania in the third round. Tig took down Christina McHale in straight sets earlier in the day to advance at Roland Garros.
“I don’t know her at all and I‘ve never practiced with her or played a match against her,” Ferro admitted. “There’s not much I can say about her, but I will watch some videos to see how I can play tactically. I have tomorrow to recover and to focus on the next match.”