There have been many surprises at this year’s Roland Garros, but perhaps the greatest of them all is Pauline Parmentier reaching the second week of Roland Garros. The world number 145 has had some reasonable results on the ITF tour this year, winning a title in Grenoble in February. However she had not won a main draw WTA match all year! Parmentier defeated Mona Barthel in a tense third round match, 1-6 6-1 7-5. After the pair split breadstick sets, Barthel was the first player to break serve in the deciding set at *4-3. Parmentier was dominating the match and Barthel was constantly on the back foot. However Parmentier was making some horrendous errors and just could not close the points out.
In a match that presented huge opportunities for both, there was plenty of nerves on show. This was clear to see as Mona stepped up to serve for the match at *5-3 in the third set. Mona was broken to 15. She opened and closed the game with double faults. The second double fault was so incredibly tame. In the next game, Parmentier opened up with a double fault that bounced before the net. After that point though, Parmentier drew on the terrific support from the court 1 crowd to hold, break Mona’s serve and then hold again from 0-30 down to secure a quite majestic victory. Parmentier held her nerve superbly well in the last three games as Mona crumbled. Personally, I am gutted because I would have loved to see Mona take this opportunity. In the tight moments, Mona was just too nervous to close the match out. She has had some good results lately, but I wonder what this loss will do for her confidence.
This has been an incredible week from Parmentier. The tweet below was posted during the second set of Barthel v Parmentier. The Frenchwoman has won all her matches in three sets and from a set down too.
Parmentier will play Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round on Sunday