20-year-old Françoise Abanda is red-hot in Paris this year. The Canadian made her way into the main draw of Roland Garros by qualifying. Once placed in the women’s field, she won her first Grand Slam main draw match on Monday against Tessah Andrianjafitrimo.
Her next challenge: former world no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.
RELATED: Abanda advances to second round.
There is an intriguing appeal to this match up, particularly because of each player’s performance so far at Roland Garros.
Abanda is bursting with confidence and eager to keep progressing through the draw and up the WTA rankings. Her first round win propelled her about 60 spots up the ranking list, making her about no. 136. That is a new career high.
The Canadian can hold her head high knowing she achieved such a feat with hard work. Through three qualifying matches and one main draw win, Abanda has only lost one set in Paris this year. She has not been taken to a tiebreak or pushed to 5-5 at any point, meaning she is efficiently taking care of business.
Abanda wins her first career grand slam main-draw match pic.twitter.com/AKJY5wl3We
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) May 29, 2017
Though Wozniacki is a clear favourite on paper to win this encounter, she may have her hands full with Abanda.
Wozniacki’s first round was a bumpy start. The Dane faced off against Jaimee Fourlis, a 17-year-old wildcard from Australia.
Fourlis pushed the former world no. 1 to three sets on Suzanne-Lenglen Court. The teenager from Down Under blasted 36 winners to Wozniacki’s 12 (yes, 12). The difference came down to the unforced error count: Wozniacki hit 32 while Fourlis hit 54. Wozniacki won her first round scare with 91 points, barely edging ahead of Fourlis’ 85 points.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) May 29, 2017
Statistically, clay is not Wozniacki’s best surface. Abanda’s booming confidence and solid play thus far may stand a decent chance at causing one of the biggest upsets of the women’s tournament so far.
Where Wozniacki does hold the advantage is in experience. For the 2017 season, Wozniacki holds a 27-11 record that includes runner-up finishes in Doha, Dubai and Miami. Abanda holds a 5-8 record, though she has pulled off big wins in Fed Cup against Yulia Putintseva and Yaroslava Shvedova, both Top 50 players.
Abanda will not have to deal with the pressure of a big stage on Wednesday when the pair face off. Instead of Suzanne-Lenglen Court or Court Philipp Chatrier, the two will meet on the smaller Court 2.
Another upset may be brewing in Paris.
— Ashish Jena (@ashishjena94) May 29, 2017
Abanda vs. Wozniacki will be the third match on Wednesday, May 31 on TSN3 at approximately 9 a.m. E.T.