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Juniors begin Roland Garros campaign

Jun 04, 2017
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Canadian juniors played their first round matches at Roland Garros on Sunday. Action included Bianca Andreescu, Carson Branstine and Benjamin Sigouin.

Branstine was the first to play on Sunday. She was making her Grand Slam debut representing Canada.

RELATED: Get to know Carson Branstine

Earlier this year, California-native Branstine won the girls’ doubles title with Andreescu at the Australian Open. A few weeks after, Branstine officially made the switch to represent Canada and won her first title at the USTA International Spring Championships in California.

Her Canadian Grand Slam debut was short-lived as she fell in the opening round to Paula Arias Manjon. Branstine won a convincing first set by winning over 73% of her service points and more than half of her receiving points. She broke her opponent three times, only dropping serve once.

Arias Manjon fought back in a flip-flop second set that saw each player break serve numerous times. Branstine’s capitalized on her opportunities, going 2/2 on break points in the set, but Arias Manjon was 4/8. Branstine was unable to regain momentum and dropped her opening match in three sets 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Branstine’s time in Paris is not over, however. She and Andreescu will team up again to play doubles.

Can't wait to play dubs with the best @rolandgarros #part2 ⁉️

A post shared by Bianca Vanessa Andreescu (@biancaandreescu_) on

The Canadians will be the no. 1 seeds and open against Maria Jose Portillo Ramirez and Sofia Sewing.

Andreescu also took to court on Sunday for her opening round match, and she cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 victory in 52 minutes over Loudmilla Bencheikh. The 16-year-old from Mississauga was the only player to participate in both the junior draw and women’s qualifying, though her hopes of entering the women’s tournament ended early.

Andreescu won her match with 59 points, Bencheikh with 35. Andreescu dropped serve once but broke her opponent five times to run away with the match in straight sets. She won 79% of her first service points and nearly 60% of receiving points.

Roland Garros will be Andreescu’s last Grand Slam as a junior. TSN’s Mark Masters caught up with Andreescu after the win. Click here to hear her thoughts on the match.

Sigouin is Canada’s only player in the boys’ tournament and was the last to play on Sunday.

After dropping the opening set, Sigouin stormed back in the second to level the match at one set all against 10th seed Oliver Crawford. The third set went the distance, and shortly after the two hour mark Sigouin was broken. Crawford served for the match at 6-5 and held two match points, but Sigouin stormed back and leveled the match once again.

6-6 in the third, each player with three breaks of serve and a tiebreak would decide who would move on.

Sigouin fell down a mini-break early and trailed 0-1 to start the tiebreak. Sigouin went down a double mini-break for a 3-6 deficit. Once again Crawford served for the win and Sigouin fought back on serve. At 6-5, however, Crawford received another mini break and got the win 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5).

Sigouin will complete in the boys doubles draw with partner Yshai Oliel. The 8th seeds will open against Axel Geller and Nicolas Mejia on Monday.

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