* Triumph of Solana Sierra to qualify for the Roland Garros junior final
Argentina Solana Sierra dealt a violent blow to the Junior Roland Garros: beat Czech Nikola Bartunkova 7-5 and 6-0 in the semi-finals and got the ticket for the final of the popular youth competition.
The 17-year-old, who turns 18 in days, will be looking to lift the title against Lucia Havlickova, also from the Czech Republic. Only two Argentines have managed to take this crown at junior level in the women’s branch: Gabriela Sabatini in 1984 Yes Patricia Tarabini in 1986.
Born in Mar del Plata, Sierra is one of the great exponents of the new breed of Argentine tennis that has long proven itself at youth level. To advance to the final match, she had to beat the Czech in the first round Brenda Fruhvirtova (5-7, 6-3 and 6-4) then came the turn to win over the Belgian Hanne Vandewinkel (6-4 and 6-0). He got the ticket to the quarter-finals with a victory against the local Yaroslava Bartachevich (6-2 and 7-5).
In the quarter-finals, he met the American Liv Hovdewhich he also eliminated in straight sets with a 6-3 and 7-5 to be able to obtain the pass for the semi-finals.
Sierra will look to emulate what Sabatini and Tarabini did after becoming the sixth Argentine representative at women’s level to play in the final of this junior tournament after introductions also by Ines Gorrochategui in 1991 (fallen to Anna Smashnova), Paola Suarez in 1992 (defeat against the Paraguayan Rossana de los Ríos) and Maria Emilia Salerni in 2000 (she was overtaken by the French Virginie Razzano). Precisely the smurf Salerni is the last Argentine exhibitor to have been crowned in a Junior Grand Slam at the women’s level: she lifted the titles in Wimbledon Yes U.S. Open in this magical 2000 for his career.
In recent times, some of the current stars of the circuit have taken over from this Roland Garros junior like the American Coco Gauff (singles finalist this year at the senior level), the Canadian Leila Fernandezthe Ukrainian Elina Svitolin and Romanian Simona Halep.
Argentina has an interesting tradition at junior level at Roland Garros also in the men’s branch thanks to the conquests of Guillermo Perez Roldan (1985 and 1986), Mariano Zabaleta (year one thousand nine hundred and ninety-five), Guillaume Coria (1999) and Augustin Velotti (2010).
Beyond this professional accomplishment, Sierra (currently ranked WTA 575) had already hit the headlines some time ago when she was called up to join the national team at the Billie Jean King Cup and contributed to victories against Colombia (vs Yuliana Lizarazo), Brazil (vs Laura Pigossi), Guatemala (vs Melissa Morales) and Mexico (vs Marcela Zacarias).
THE ARGENTINES WHO WON THE JUNIOR GRAND SLAM
1977: Claudia Casabianca (US Open)
1984: Gabriela Sabatini (Roland Garros)
1986: Patricia Tarabini (Roland Garros) / Guillermo Perez Roldán (Roland Garros)
1987: Guillermo Perez Roldan (Roland Garros)
Year one thousand nine hundred ninety-five: Mariano Zabaleta (Roland Garros)
1998: David Nalbandian (US Open)
1999: Guillermo Coria (Roland Garros)
2000: Maria Emilia Salerni (US Open and Wimbledon)
2010: Agustin Velotti (Roland Garros)