Canadians Wozniak, Fichman lose in first round
PARIS — Aleksandra Wozniak and Sharon Fichman went down to defeat on Tuesday in the French Open first round, leaving 18th seed Eugenie Bouchard as the last Canadian in the women’s draw.
Wozniak wasted a match point in her 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-2 first-round loss to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea. Toronto’s Fichman, ranked 77th, lost to sixth-seed Jelena Jankovic 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 in a match interrupted by darkness last in the second set on Monday.
The first meeting between qualifier Wozniak, the world No. 149 from Blainville, Que., and 26th-ranked Cirstea lasted for just over 90 minutes in dry but chilly conditions.
Wozniak, who has struggled with rehabilitation from a 2012 shoulder injury, had her chances to close out a win as she led the second set 5-4
But she dumped a backhand into the net on her winning chance, allowing Cirstea to eventually hold serve and tie the set at five games apiece.
“It was one point to win the match, I’m disappointed that I didn’t cover it,” Wozniak said.
Cirstea then broke Wozniak for a 6-5 lead and tied the match at a set apiece a game later.
The third set was a disaster for Wozniak, who lost serve to start and was beaten with a forehand down the line.
Wozniak said she was carrying a thigh injury from her second qualifying match and felt it during her loss.
“The first two sets were real battles,” Wozniak said, before giving credit to Cirstea.
“She played well, she’s a good player with a solid ground game, I knew what I was facing when I went into the match. I’m disappointed it didn’t go my way today.
“Still, it was god experience to win three qualifying rounds. They helped me put in the work I needed. It’s been two years since I’ve played on real (European red) clay.”
Wozniak finished with 42 unforced errors and lost serve seven times while breaking Cirstea on four of eight chances. The Romanian won despite 51 unforced errors.
Wozniak had her best Grand Slam result at Roland Garros in 2009 when she reached the fourth round.
Fichman won her opening set on Monday against former No. 1 Jankovic but trailed 1-5 when darkness fell. When they came back, it was Jankovic in command, with the Serb winning the second set and breaking in the second game of the third.
Fichman played catch-up all through the final set and saved a match point before taking the loss with 30 winners and 41 unforced errors.
“At 3-all in the last set, I felt I got back into it, I played some good games,” said Fichman. “She’s a tough player and is where she is for a reason.
“She didn’t give any free points; I knew I had to try and earn the match myself. I had a break point at 4-3 but I couldn’t convert it. But the fact that I put myself into this position and had the chances is a positive thing. I hope to keep improving and take the good things from this match.”