PARIS (Reuters) – Unseeded Italian Martina Travisan maintained her fine form and advanced to the semifinals of the French Open on Tuesday, beating Canadian teenager Lelah Fernandez 6-2 6-7 (3) 6-3.
Travisan had all the answers because he dominated most of the matches against a bottom-seeded Fernandez who struggled to repeat the form that led him to last year’s US Open final.
The 59-year-old batsman could have won the set directly, but left-hander Fernandez dug deep to stay in the competition while playing 5-4 in the second match.
Fernandez comfortably claimed to be the first player to take the set against Roland Garros Travisan this year at the tiebreak, but that only proved to be a brief break.
Travison went 3-0 up in the deciding set and won an intensely competitive fourth game to score a double break.
Seventeen pick Fernandez, who was treated for a foot injury in the first set, although he did not want to leave quietly and broke the serve twice to come back at 3-5.
The nerves were clear as Travisan served again for the match but this time he will not be denied as he has secured the win with an angled crosscourt forehand.
“I felt a bit nervous at the match point (second set) but it’s normal to feel that emotion because it was my second Grand Slam quarter-final,” said the 28-year-old Italian, who won his first WTA. In the title of Rabat this month.
“I’ve brought a lot of energy here and put all my emotions on the court.”
Travisan demonstrated his claycourt skills in Paris two years ago when he lost in the quarter-finals to eventual champion Iga Suatek. Now he has gone further and will be confident against Coco Goff or Sloane Stephens in the semifinals.
He is bidding to imitate compatriot Francesca Schiavone, who won the title in 2010, and the way he is playing suggests he will pause a bit in that quest.
Travisan, surprisingly present in his third major draw in Paris, started the match in confident fashion and broke the serve in the opening game.
Fernandez won the fifth game and needed treatment for his left leg but slipped 5-2 after the restart as Travison fired the forehand winner down the line.
The 19-year-old Canadian took a break early in the second set but Travisan regained control and broke twice, holding a 5-4 lead with his serve.
Fernandez showed great calm, but to take the match to the tiebreak which he claimed comfortably.
He may not have any complaints though, as Travison used his chances as a controller and held his nerves for his 10th consecutive win.
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