Roland Garros: Podoroska brings Argentina’s first victory in Paris

The Rosario Nadia Podoroska contributed this Sunday the first victory of Argentine tennis in the 2023 edition of Roland Garros, after beating the French Jessika Ponchet in straight sets in a match of the first round of the tournament.

The victory of the “Peque” was consummated with a score of 6-0 and 6-2 after one hour and two minutes of play on the brick dust of court 14 of the Parisian complex in Bois de Boulogne.

The 26-year-old Podoroska, number 103 in the WTA ranking, used a high record of points won with her first serve (79%) and her opponent’s unforced errors (27) to advance to the second round.

In that instance, the semifinalist of the 2020 edition will face the Czech Karolina Muchova, who gave a surprise after eliminating the Greek Maria Sakkari (8th) 7-6 (5) and 7-5.

The Argentine defeated the current number 43 in the world in the only record they recorded in Sao Paulo, Brazil, during 2016.

Later, Facundo Díaz Acosta, one of the three absolute debutants of Argentine tennis in the Parisian major, fell in five sets against Australian Jason Kubler: 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3 and 1-6 in three hours, 24 minutes. Díaz Acosta (137), winner of two Challengers in Savannah, United States, and Oeiras, Portugal, entered the draw at the last minute as a “lucky loser”.

In the Roland Garros tournament, the second Grand Slam of the year and the first in 18 seasons without its maximum champion, the Spanish Rafael Nadal (14 titles), nine other Argentine tennis players will participate.

This Monday it will be the turn of five other compatriots: Pedro Cachín against the Austrian Dominic Thiem -2018 and 2019 finalist-, Tomás Martín Etcheverry with the British Jack Draper, Thiago Tirante against the Dutch Botic Van De Zandschulp, Federico Coria against the Croatian Borna Coric (15) and Diego Schwarztman with the Spanish Bernabé Zapata Miralles.

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The rest of the duels with Argentine protagonists will be played on Tuesday: Francisco Cerúndolo (28th) vs. Jaume Munar (Spain); Sebastián Báez (44th) vs. Gael Monfils (France); Guido Pella vs. Quentin Halys (France) and Genaro Olivieri vs. Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard (France).

The “World Cup on brick dust” is played in Paris from this Sunday until June 11 and will distribute a record number of prizes of 43,900,000 euros between its male and female teams.

Nadal, who won the trophy 14 times, the last in last year’s edition, will be out due to a persistent injury to the iliopsoas in his left leg that sidelined him from the circuit in February during the first Grand Slam, the Open. from Australia.

The Spaniard left his career on hold and without a return date, as he announced at a recent press conference, so it is estimated that at almost 37 years of age (he will be on June 3) the end of his extraordinary journey is near.

His absence leaves the way clear for the Serbian Novak Djokovic, champion in the 2016 and 2021 editions, to cut himself off only in that particular duel that they hold for the record of Grand Slam titles, for now tied with 22 for each.

The Balkan (3rd), who will debut tomorrow against the American Aleksandar Kovacevic, will in any case have strong rivals in the fight for the crown: the Spanish Carlos Alcaraz, number 1 in the world, and the Russian Daniil Medvedev (2nd), mostly.

In the ladies’ draw, the current champion stands out, the Polish Iga Swiatek, number one in the world and a great favorite with the opposition of the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, second in the WTA world ranking and winner of the Australian Open in February, although without a good record at Roland Garros.

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