After a dominant win from Leylah Annie Fernandez on Sunday, Bianca Andreescu looked to keep the momentum going for the small group of players representing Canada at the 2021 French Open.
It took three hours and 20 minutes, but Andreescu eventually fell to World No. 85 Tamara Zidanšek 6-7(1), 7-6(2), 9-7 in her first round nail-biter.
The Mississauga, Ontario native got off to a commanding 3-0 lead in the French capital. Zidanšek looked nervous, and Andreescu took advantage of the Slovenian’s unforced errors with consecutive breaks of serve.
Zidanšek managed to settle herself in and broke back in the fourth game after an untimely double fault from the Canadian. The World No. 85 continued to roll and won the next three games and took a 4-3 first set lead.
In the pivotal eighth game, Andreescu found herself in a love-40 hole to the tenacious Slovenian. Andreescu ferociously fought off three break points to get the game back at deuce. After a couple of strong serves, the Canadian managed to hold a very important service game.
To no one’s surprise, the back-and-forth first set went to a tiebreak. Andreescu looked razor-sharp and dropped only a single point in this one to take the first set 7-6(1).
In the second set, it was Zidanšek who earned the early break. However, her lead was short-lived as Andreescu whistled a forehand down the line in the fourth game and gave herself a chance to break back, which she did.
In the 12th game, Andreescu was down 5-6 and needed to break Zidanšek’s serve to keep the set alive. This time, it was Zidanšek with the untimely double fault. Andreescu made no mistake and jumped on the opportunity, won the game, and forced another tiebreak.
However, the second set tiebreak went the way of the Slovenian. Zidanšek looked dialed in and took it 7-6(2).
In the third set, after more back-and-forth tennis, Andreescu saved a match point and evened the set to 6-6. With no third set tiebreak at Roland Garros, this match needed extra innings!
Unfortunately for Canadian tennis fans, it was Zidanšek with the extra step. She came out on top to win the marathon set 9-7. It was a tough loss for the Canadian who came off back-to-back wins on clay last week at the Strasbourg Open and looked as if she could go on a run here in Paris.
Zidanšek earned her first victory over a Top 10 opponent in her career and advances to the second round of the French Open – also a career first.