PARIS (Reuters) – Third seed Paula Badosa outlasted Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan before making sure of a third round spot with a 7-5 3-6 6-2 victory at the French Open on Thursday.
Badosa, a former junior champion in Paris, was made to work much harder than in her opening round where she had spent less than an hour on court.
“It was a very touch match and I expected a match like this,” Badosa said. “I still need matches here to feel a little bit better.”
“I was nervous and stressed. She was running, getting all the balls. In that moment I tried to stay as calm as possible and play aggressively.”
The 24-year-old, who is left-handed but plays with her right, did not need long to take control, breaking Juvan in the very first game and racing to a 3-0 lead.
But the Spaniard had to fight to win the set when the Slovenian battled back from 5-2 to level.
Juvan kept trying to throw Badosa off her game plan.
She pinned the Spaniard, who has made the second week on both her previous main-draw appearances at Roland Garros, to the baseline and then hit drop shots, a total of 25 in the first two sets alone.
Her strategy paid off when she broke Badosa, the world number four, to go 4-2 up and bag the second set.
Another break put her in front at the start of the third but Badosa then took control, powering through the next four consecutive games to clinch the decider and set up a third-round clash with Russian Veronika Kudermetova.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis)