Bianca Andreescu of Canada returns the ball to Iga Swiatek of Poland during their match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Friday, May 13, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Andrew Medichini

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu opens French Open with three-set victory

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu opens French Open with three-set victory

PARIS — Canadian Bianca Andreescu scored a three-set victory over Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium in the first round of the French Open on Monday.

Andreescu dropped the opening set 6-3, before bouncing back to win the next two sets, 7-5 and 6-0.

“I really said to myself ‘stay in the present moment … keep fighting because it’s not over until it’s over,’” Andreescu told TSN. “I really had to put pressure on her — if not, I knew she was going to win.”

The former world No. 4 fell battled back from a 3-1 deficit in the second set to force the deciding set.

“Just having that fighting spirit until the end really helped me,” she said.

Andreescu was up 3-0 in the final set when played was halted for a two-hour and 20-minute rain delay.

When the skies cleared and play resumed, Andreescu needed just over 10 minutes to finish off Bonaventure, who served up 10 double faults in her first French Open main draw

“She (Andreescu) raised her game and I was maybe a little bit less aggressive and in the third set she was clearly better than me. It was more difficult mentally for me to come back in the match,” said Bonaventure.

Andreescu, from Mississauga, Ont., came to Paris looking to build on her successful clay court season following a months-long absence to recuperate physically and mentally from a tough 2021 season.

“It’s great to know that even when I am not playing my best tennis that I can find a way to win,” she said. “I am super happy with how I managed my emotions.”

Andreescu, who will meet No. 14 seed Belinda Bencic on Wednesday, is one of four Canadians still competing in Paris.

Leylah Fernandez and Felix Auger-Aliassime, both of Montreal, will be back on the clay on Wednesday following first round wins on Sunday. Fernandez, the tournament’s 17th seed, will play Czech Katerina Siniakova, while Auger-Aliassime, seeded ninth on the men’s side, meets Argentine qualifier Camilo Ugo Carabelli.

Denis Shapovalov, of Richmond Hill, Ont., will play his opening-round match on Tuesday against Denmark’s Holger Rune.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 23, 2022.

The Canadian Press

Tennis