Marta Kostyuk is one match away from reaching her career first French Open main draw after a stacked day of second-round qualifying action wrapped up on Thursday at Roland Garros.

By Stephanie Livaudais

PARIS, France – Ukrainian teenager Marta Kostyuk is one match away from reaching her career first French Open main draw after a stacked day of second-round qualifying action wrapped up on Thursday at Roland Garros. 

Kostyuk made her unforgettable Grand Slam debut in 2018 at the Australian Open, where she reached the third round as a 15-year-old and became the youngest player to win a match in Melbourne in over two decades. 

Read more: Kostyuk, Li, McNally lead youth surge in Roland Garros qualifying

A long battle with injuries threatened to stall her progress, but the resurgent Kostyuk has shown signs of her return to form after stretching Naomi Osaka to three sets in the third round of the 2020 US Open, just her second Slam appearance.  

No.2 seed Kostyuk hopes to become a regular fixture as she now sits one match away from qualifying for the French Open for the first time after defeating Romania’s Laura Ioana Paar in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. Kostyuk will take on No.22 Kurumi Nara for a spot in the main draw after the Japanese player defeated Ankita Raina 6-3, 6-2.

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Mayar Sherif completed one of the upsets of the day against No.3 seed Cathy McNally, eliminating the rising American in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. Sherif made Egyptian tennis history in the previous round after becoming the first player from her country to win a match at any Grand Slam event. Now, the Pepperdine University alumna will take on Giulia Gatto-Monticone as she seeks her first Grand Slam main draw appearance. 

“I always imagined myself and visualised myself doing something good here in Paris,” Sherif told RolandGarros.com. “I’m just enjoying it, it’s such a dream to be here and to compete here. I’m going to try to enjoy it as much as I can.”

Read more: McNally survives test in first round of Roland Garros qualifying

It was also a successful second-round for Latin American tennis, after Mexico’s Renata Zarazua, Chile’s Daniela Seguel and Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska all advanced to the final qualifying matches. 

Zarazua and Seguel will face each other in the third round after fighting past seeded opponents, with Zarazua defeating No.12 Viktoria Tomova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 and Seguel coming back from a set down to No.19 Leonie Kung, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Zarazua is seeking to become the first Mexican woman in a Grand Slam main draw since Angelica Gavaldon at the 2000 Australian Open, while Seguel would be the first Chilean since Germaine Ohaco’s 1982 US Open appearance.

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Meanwhile Podoroska, the No.8 seed, took down Jaqueline Cristian in straight sets, 6-0, 6-4, to set up a clash with No.20 Wang Xinyu.

Kamilla Rakhimova scored a major upset over No.1 seed Ann Li in three marathon sets, 6-7 (12), 7-6(4), 6-4 and moved on to face Natalija Kostic. No.24 Sara Errani also made her way to the final qualifying round after defeating Spain’s Eva Guerrero Alvarez, 6-4, 6-1. The 2012 finalist will take on No.4 seed Tereza Martincova as she seeks her first Grand Slam main draw appearance since 2018.

Also into the final round is No.9 seed Astra Sharma, who faces Martina Trevisan, and former Australian Open finalist Vera Zvonareva, who will take on No.16 Monica Niculescu.