This past weekend Françoise Abanda qualified for her first main draw appearance at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Montreal native defeated Misaki Doi and Natalia Vikhlyantseva in qualifying and drew fellow qualifier, world no. 84, Magda Linette in the first round.
— Max (@MGLovesTennis) August 14, 2017
Linette jumped out to an early break lead over the Canadian, 2-0. The match was played primarily from the backcourt and Linette was being the bigger aggressor in the opening set. Abanda was able to keep the set competitive and close but was unable to recover from the early break deficit.
Abanda received a couple of break point opportunities in the sixth game but clutch serving by the Polish woman kept the advantage in tact. Again in the eighth game, Abanda jumped ahead to a 0-30 lead but a couple of big serves by Linette erased any half-chance that was there.
Serving to keep the opening set alive, Abanda hit two double faults. On set point Linette executed one of the few drop shots in the set and took the opener 6-3 in 41 minutes.
The second set started much better for the Canadian who broke and consolidated for a 2-0 lead. The pair traded breaks in the third and fourth game of the set before Abanda re-established a double break lead for herself, up 4-1.
Serving for the set at 5-2, Abanda was brought to a lengthy service game that eventually resulted in another break for Linette. The Canadian had another chance to serve for the set and on a service winner captured the set 6-4.
Abanda carried the momentum with her into the third set and broke Linette for a fourth time. Her heightened aggression was taking a toll on Linette who found herself hitting errors that were uncharacteristic of her game in the first set. On a fiery forehand cross-court winner, Abanda secured a double break lead in the third, up 4-1.
Serving for the match at 5-2, Abanda fell behind 0-30. A deep backhand and service winner put her on even terms in the game and then, on a Linette forehand error, Abanda got to match point. Linette netted her return on the following point and Abanda got the win 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. It was Abanda’s 10th win over a Top 100 opponent.
Abanda will now play Julia Goerges (GER) in the second round. The German defeated no. 10 seed Agnieszka Radwanska in her opening match.