A third Top 10 player is out of the French Open in the first round. French teenager Diane Parry, from nearby Boulogne-Billancourt, dethroned defending champion and No.2 seed Barbora Krejcikova on Court Philippe-Chatrier in Paris on Monday despite losing eight of the match's first nine games.
Parry's 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Krejcikova is not only the 19-year-old's first against a Top 10 player, but her first against someone even ranked in the Top 50. Krejcikova was playing her first match in over three months, having been sidelined since February's Qatar Total Open with a right elbow injury.
The World No.2 started strongly. After opening the match with a double fault, Krejcikova won 15 straight points to take command early, and led 6-1, 2-0 before Parry worked her way into the contest and turned it all the way around.
"It was rough," Parry said of her start. "You want to do well, because I was playing in front of a lot of people I knew, and I was playing No. 2 worldwide. The titleholder of the French Open. So I wanted to play well.
"Maybe I overplayed somehow, but it was needed, and this is what I realized throughout the match. I tried to become more aggressive ... Towards the end of the first set, I managed to find my grooves in terms of my shots, my intensity. And during the second set I managed to hold my own, and I felt that it was getting better and better, that it was bothering her."
Remember the name.— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 23, 2022
Remember the moment.
The time a star was born in Paris ✨@dparry02 | #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/X9b2KWWlsX
Krejcikova later said that while she was pleased to play pain-free, she "hit the wall" physically after months without matches, despite her lead.
Krejcikova not placing any expectations on herself heading into Paris
"I just think I just collapsed physically," she told the press. "It was tough because I didn't play the matches. Usually the matches are different than the practices, and I tried to prepare the best way I could.
"We started to play rallies, and I was there for those shots, I started to be a little late. That's where I felt that I started to miss balls and where the match changed. ... She was just overplaying me, because I was late and I wasn't able to put that much pressure on her anymore."
The match was played under a closed roof at Roland Garros while heavy rains disrupted the afternoon's play elsewhere.
Ready for her return under the roof ☂️— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 23, 2022
Defending champion @BKrejcikova meets French teen Diane Parry#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/d5OvHtvZa8
Krejcikova is the third Top 10 seed to lose in the first two days of the tournament, following No.6 seed Ons Jabeur and No.10 seed Garbiñe Muguruza's defeats on Sunday.
Another milestone for Parry: The victory is the latest milestone for Parry, a former junior world No.1, at her home major. In 2019, at 16 years and 281 days old, she became the youngest player in nearly 10 years to win a main-draw match at the clay-court Grand Slam. That was also her first WTA main-draw win.
"It's hard to make a comparison, because there has been three years in the meantime. I was much younger. The court was smaller. Everything was different," Parry said.
"At the time I was already delighted to win this first match. Today it's even more important, because I played on the Philippe Chatrier court in front of a big crowd, so it's even more important for me. I have evolved a lot since then mentally in my game. I know there is still a lot of work to do though.
"I'm very happy, because I have had wonderful emotions on the court. But I try not to get too fired up. I try to think one match at a time. I will have a next match on Wednesday, so I just want to enjoy and then focus right away on the tournament."
Parry was previously 0-3 in tour-level main draws so far in 2022, and advances to a second round match against one of her junior peers, Camila Osorio of Colombia.
When dreams become a reality, @dparry02 💜#RolandGarrospic.twitter.com/1K9cavXmDY— wta (@WTA) May 23, 2022