Routliffe, Fernandez fall short in third round at Roland Garros

Tuesday, 04 June 2024

Erin Routliffe and Leylah Fernandez have gone out in the third round at Roland Garros, losing to Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine and Romania’s Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-1 6-4.

The match, which was played on Court Simonne-Mathieu, lasted for one hour, 23 minutes, which gives more of a reflection of how tight this match was than the scoreline suggests. 

Although there wasn’t much between the teams, Kostyuk and Ruse came through in the big points early in the match and Routliffe and Fernandez found themselves down 5-0 in the opening set, before they got on the board.

That came from Fernandez holding serve, but Kostyuk served out the next game to go a set up after 32 minutes. 

The Kiwi/Canadian team were able to quickly move on, going up 3-0 in the second set, with Ruse double-faulting on break point in the second of those games.

However, Fernandez made a couple of unforced errors late in the fifth game as she was broken to take the set back on serve.

Momentum stayed with the Romanian/Ukrainian team, with their game plan of playing extremely aggressively paying off, taking the score from 0-3 to 5-3. They swung hard at every opportunity, particularly at returns down the line, and fortunately for them, more balls landed in than out.

Serving to stay in the match, Fernandez double-faulted at 30-30 to give her opponents a match point. That was saved when Ruse put a return into the net, which was followed by a big ‘Come On!” From Routliffe.

The former US Open singles finalist went on to hold serve, but in the next game, on Ruse’s serve, there were two more match points.

The Romanian went too long with a lob on the first of them, but Kostyuk found a gap between Routliffe and Fernandez to put away a winning volley on the next point.

Although Routliffe’s run in the women’s doubles at Roland Garros has come to an end earlier than she would have hoped, it’s been an impressive European clay court season for the 29-year-old, moving to No 3 in the world rankings.

She is expected to team up with her regular partner, Gabby Dabrowski for the grass-court season. Dabrowski has been out injured for the past two months. 

However, before Routliffe thinks about playing on grass, she has a mixed doubles quarterfinal with Michael Venus in Paris to focus on.

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