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Andreescu moves on with win over Navarro at Roland-Garros

Bianca Andreescu Bianca Andreescu - The Canadian Press

PARIS — Bianca Andreescu beckoned the partisan Court 14 crowd for noise as she looked to put the finishing touches on a second-round win over American wild-card Emma Navarro.

With fans chanting her name, Andreescu picked up a fifth break of the match to complete a 6-1, 6-4 victory and advance to the third round of the clay-court Grand Slam for the first time in her career.

"Support was unreal today, thank you," Andreescu tweeted after the match.

The 22-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., who appears to be over the serious ankle injury she sustained at the Miami Open, is playing at Roland Garros with a passion reminiscent of her 2019 U.S. Open victory and rise to No. 4 in the WTA rankings.

Coming off an impressive win over 18th-seed Victoria Azarenka in the first round, Andreescu was dominant much of Thursday. The world No. 42 breezed through the first set in 29 minutes, winning 80 per cent of total service points without facing break point.

Navarro, the world No. 75 making her French Open debut, played much better to start the second set by mimicking Andreescu. She matched the Canadian's trademark aggressiveness and kept her opponent guessing by mixing up her shot selection, ultimately getting her first break to go up 3-2 in the set.

The American served to love to consolidate the break and go up 4-2, but with a chance to tie the next game at 30 with Andreescu at her mercy, Navarro mis-hit the ball and sent it into the net.

The miscue seemed to energize Andreescu, who completed the hold to cut Navarro's lead to 4-3.

Navarro hit the ball long in the next game while facing double break point, eliciting an exclamation of "Come on!" from a fired-up Andreescu.

After a confident hold to go up 5-4, the Canadian iced things when Navarro fired the ball into the net after a brief rally on match point.

Andreescu will face Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko in the third round. Tsurenko advanced via walkover in her second-round match against Lauren Davis of the United States.

Tsurenko, ranked 66th in the world, and Andreescu met for the first time in the semifinals of the Thailand Open in February. Andreescu withdrew from the match with a shoulder injury trailing Tsurenko 7-5, 4-0.

In women's doubles action Thursday, it was a split result for Canada in a pair of close matches.

Tenth seeds Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., and American Taylor Townsend continued their promising partnership with a 7-5, 7-6 (3) win over Italy's Sara Errani and Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the U.S., while Vancouver's Rebecca Marino and China's Zhu Lin fell 7-5, 7-5 to the Chinese tandem of Xu Yifan and Yang Zhaoxuan.

Fernandez and Townsend will next face Estonia's Ingrid Neel and Taiwan's Fang-Hsien Wu on Friday. Eighth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski of Ottawa and Luisa Stefani of Brazil are set to take on Hungary's Dalma Galfi and Poland's Katarzyna Piter in another second-round doubles match.

Andreescu joined fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the third round. The men's 26th seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., faces a daunting task Friday with world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz lying in wait.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2023.