Il y a moins d'un an, Clara Burel jouait au tennis avec des balles en mousse suite à une blessure au poignet, mais jeudi, l'adolescente est devenue la plus jeune Française en 12 ans à atteindre le troisième tour à Roland Garros. </p><div> <p>La jeune femme de 19 ans a battu la Slovène Kaja Juvan 7-6 (6) 6-2, un jour après son partenaire en double mixte aux Jeux Olympiques de la Jeunesse, Hugo Gaston, avec qui elle a remporté la médaille de bronze, a également atteint le troisième tour à Roland Garros.
Burel is the youngest Frenchwoman to reach this stage since Alize Cornet, then 18, in 2008. The two could have met for a place in the fourth round, but Cornet was eliminated in straight sets by China’s Zhang Shuai.
Burel’s victory boosted morale in the French camp after Gaston became the only Frenchman to advance from the second round.
In May 2019, she had wrist surgery which ended her season before slowly struggling to regain her fitness.
“I started with foam balls, we took it slowly,” Burel said at a press conference.
“In the end, everything went well and I didn’t feel any pain. ”
Burel, who will collect at least one check for 126,000 euros ($ 147,974) for her run at Roland Garros, more money than she has accumulated so far in her career, has had a strong hold on the match against Juvan, the same player who beat her in the Youth Olympics singles final two years ago.
“It was a big revenge because she beat me in the final. It was a defeat that hurt me a lot. I’m really happy I got my revenge today, ”said Burel, who will drop to at least 240 in the final. WTA ranking from its current position of 357th.
Burel now wants more rematch, this time over her third-round opponent Shuai, who beat her in the second round of the Strasbourg International earlier this month.
“It’s true that there aren’t many players here who know me when I step on the court. But she will have that advantage, ”said Burel.
“But it will be cool, it’s a great opportunity for revenge. ”
Burel is joined by two other French women in the third round – Caroline Garcia and Fiona Ferro, who beat Kazakhstan’s 14th seed Elena Rybakina 6-3 4-6 6-2 on Thursday.