Roland Garros – Day, Holt & Liu’s Inaugural Appearance

rollandGarros-header

United States’ juniors have been making a statement on the terre battue at Roland Garros of late. In an historic 2015 Simple Garçons final, momentous because two Americans were competing, Tommy Paul defeated Taylor Fritz, in three tantalizing sets.  This year nine boys are playing the event, while ten girls are in the Simple Filles field.

Three of the nineteen junior participants are from Southern California. Kayla Day, the No. 3 seed, tops the list. Brandon Holt received a wild card thanks to an agreement between the USTA and the Fédération Française de Tennis. Claire. Liu received a Special Exempt after reaching the quarterfinals of the 52nd Astrid Bowl, in Charleroi, Belgium, where Seone Mendez of Australia was 7-6, 2-6, 6-0 better. (In 2014, Fritz also earned a Special Exempt in Paris after he was an Astrid Bowl semifinalist.)

Claire Liu Photo www.tennisfoto.net

Claire Liu Photo www.tennisfoto.net

One of the wonderful, yet ever trying consistencies of spring in Paris is Roland Garros’ partnership with rain. They are almost a, “Can’t have one without the other” pairing. The two have a long established “double” record, which means players are regularly forced to dash on and off the courts to avoid getting drenched. Matches begun one day can take three days to complete. This means that many of the fashionably attired spectators, who attend the fifteen-day tournament, include umbrellas in their accoutrements.

Kayla Day Photo www.tennisfoto.net

Kayla Day Photo www.tennisfoto.net

Fortunately, all three players from the section were “first up” on Sunday’s schedule. Each faced opponents who had vast clay court experience. Under threatening clouds, Liu was “first off” (in fact, she was the first of all the matches to end) after mercilessly destroying French wild card, Sandra Bozinovic, 6-1, 6-1, on Court 16. She dominated the match winning 57 points to the 27 collected by her opponent.

Brandon Holt Photo Cynthia Lum

Brandon Holt Photo Cynthia Lum

Holt, playing on Court 5, was sidelined 6-3, 6-2 by Juan Carlos Manuel Aguilar, who was born in London, but plays for Bolivia. On Court 14, Day throttled another French wild card, in this case, Loudmilla Bencheikh, 6-2, 6-3. She earned 62 points to the 41 secured by her opponent.

With rain, (pluie as the French call it), expected to be a Roland Garros companion in the coming days, Day, Holt and Liu’s adaptive abilities will be enhanced as they are immersed in a rite of the season.

Mark Winters

Look for a fresh examination of tennis topics at Mark’s Thoughts

 

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