Heath Davidson primed for Roland Garros campaign
The Roland Garros quad wheelchair singles competition, which features Australian hope Heath Davidson, begins today in Paris.
Heath Davidson is excited to begin his Roland Garros campaign today.
“I love Paris,” Davidson told tennis.com.au. “I love Roland Garros as a tournament and my coach (Francois Vogelsberger) is from Paris, so it’s always fun to be in Paris with him.”
The 36-year-old Australian returns to the Grand Slam tournament with happy memories too, having made the singles semifinals and doubles final in the quad wheelchair competition last year.
“Clay is definitely not my favourite surface, but my game style really suits clay,” acknowledged the world No.5.
“I’m just hoping to compete at my best and hopefully we can get some good results.”
With 17 wins from his 25 singles matches so far this season, Davidson is feeling confident about his chances.
“I find myself in a good position,” said the four-time Grand Slam doubles champion.
“I feel comfortable, my form’s good and I’m playing well. I’ve got a new wheelchair, which has helped dramatically, and my game is just in a good spot at the moment, so I’m really happy.”
Australian juniors Emerson Jones and Lily Taylor are also scheduled to compete on day 11 in Paris.
Roland Garros is broadcast live in Australia on the Nine Network and Stan Sport, with coverage beginning from 6.30pm AEST.
Aussies in action on day 11:
Heath Davidson (AUS) v [WC] Koji Sugeno (JPN)
Quad wheelchair singles, first round, Court 13, first match (from 7pm AEST)
World No.5 Davidson begins his Roland Garros campaign against world No.6 Sugeno, a 41-year-old Japanese wildcard. Sugeno, who swept an ITF title in Royan last week without dropping a set, boasts a winning record against Davidson. However, the 36-year-old Australian has won five of their past six matches. This includes a first-round meeting at Roland Garros last year, which Davidson won in straight sets.
Head-to-head record: Sugeno leads 9-8
Last meeting: Davidson won 7-5 7-5 (Seoul, April 2023)
Emerson Jones (AUS) v  Alina Korneeva
Girls’ singles, third round, Court 10, first match (from 7pm AEST)
Jones, who is No.18 in the ITF World Tour junior rankings, is attempting to become the first Australian in 25 years to reach the girls’ singles quarterfinals in Paris. The 14-year-old Gold Coast talent is set to face a tough challenge though against world No.3 Korneeva. The 15-year-old is the reigning Australian Open girls’ singles champion and has won 12 of her 13 matches at junior level this season.
Head-to-head record: First meeting
Lily Taylor (AUS)/Jenny Lim (FRA) v Ranah Akua Stoiber (GBR)/Mingge Xu (GBR)
Girls’ doubles, second round, Court 4, third match
World No.49 Taylor recorded her first Grand Slam-level win this week in Paris. The 16-year-old from Queensland, who is partnering 18-year-old French hope Lim, is now hoping to continue that winning run against a British duo in the second round. The 18-year-old Stoiber is ranked No.17, while 15-year-old Xu is ranked No.27.
Emerson Jones (AUS)/Hannah Klugman (GBR) v Alena Kovackova (CZE)/Laura Samsonova (CZE)
Girls’ doubles, second round, Court 4, fourth match
This is a second-round clash featuring four promising 14-year-olds. Australia’s Jones, who is the highest ranked 2008-born player in the world at No.18, is partnering Klugman, a Brit ranked No.59. After receiving a walkover in the opening round, they now face world No.65 Kovackova and world No.25 Samsonova.
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