French Open: Korneeva clinches junior title with win over Alarcon
PARIS: The No.3 seed Alina Korneeva captured the French Open junior girls’ singles title after defeating No.6 seed Lucciana Perez Alarcon 7-6(4), 6-3 in the final, here on Saturday.
The 15-year-old Korneeva overcame 18-year-old Perez Alarcon in 1 hour and 36 minutes, saving four set points at 5-4 in the opening set along the way.
Earlier, Korneeva defeated her good friend Mirra Andreeva in a gruelling 3-hour and 18-minute Australian Open junior final to start this year’s Grand Slam season.
By backing up her triumph in Melbourne with victory in Paris, Korneeva became the first player since Magdalena Maleeva in 1990 to win the year’s first two Grand Slam events in girls’ singles.
Korneeva is also the first player to win multiple girls’ singles Grand Slam titles in one season since 2013 when two players did it: Belinda Bencic (Roland Garros and Wimbledon) and Ana Konjuh (Australian Open and US Open) split that year’s championships down the middle.
Perez Alarcon served for the opening set at 5-4, where she held four set points in a back-and-forth 10-minute game. However, Korneeva gritted through that tussle and converted her second break-point of that game to level the set at 5-5.
In the tiebreak, Korneeva fired a backhand winner down the line to lead 5-4, and a Perez Alarcon double fault followed, handing Korneeva her first set point. Korneeva followed a strong backhand return with a forehand winner to seal the one-set lead in just under an hour.
At 2-2 in the second set, Korneeva reached break point with a backhand crosscourt winner, before a double fault by Perez Alarcon ceded another break for 3-2. Korneeva eased to the win from there, finishing the clash with 29 winners to Perez Alarcon’s 19.