Big disappointment this Saturday evening at Roland-Garros! Elise Mertens, who was the last black-yellow-red representative of the singles tournament, lost in 3 sets (5-7, 7-6, 2-6) to the Greek Maria Sakkari after a fight of 2 hours and 52 minutes. The world number 15 therefore fails at the gates of the round of 16.
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Mertens went well into his match and won the first two games with an entry break. The Leuven native missed the conversion to a 3-0 ball before losing her break lead in the fourth game to see Sakkari go back to 2-2.
The first set was very close and the two players surrendered blow for blow. At 6-5 for the Greek, Mertens lost his serve at the worst time and offered the first round to Sakkari.
Despite two breaks won in the first and seventh game of the second set, the Limburgoise could not detach herself by being counter-breaker each time in stride. The second set was ultimately won in the tie-breaker, which was won by Mertens (7/2) to tie one inning everywhere.
Breakée entry into the third set, Mertens entered badly in this last round. Led 3-1, the 25-year-old Limburg woman once again lost her service and Sakkari confirmed in stride to lead 5-1.
In the round of 16, it was Sofia Kenin who waits for Sakkari. The American, world No.5 and seed of No.4, won in three sets 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in 1h56 against her compatriot Jessica Pegula, 29th in the world and seeded N.28.
Mertens is still in doubles contention with the Taiwanese Su-Wei Hsieh, with whom it forms the seed of N.1. In the round of 16, they will face the Polish Iga Swiatek, defending champion in singles, and the American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, heads of series N.14.