POITIERS, October 30, 2021 (by Stuart Williams)
The singles semi-finals of the $80,000 Internationaux Feminins de la Vienne took place in Poitiers this afternoon and, with three French women still in contention, the local crowd was guaranteed at least one French finalist by the end of the day.
The first match involved the emerging talent Harmony Tan, 24, against the comparative veteran Chloe Paquet, now aged 27. On this occasion it was Paquet who came out on top after Tan’s retirement through injury mid-way through the final set with the score standing at 4-6, 6-4, 3-2 in the victor’s favour. This was a disappointing end to what had been an enthralling contest matching players of differing styles – Paquet’s powerful and persistent aggression versus Tan’s relaxed counterpunching. The World No. 165 will be doubly pleased with this win as her results this week, and recent wins at the ITF World Tennis Tour W25 tournaments in Wroclaw, Kiev and Netanya plus a runner-up finish at the ITF World Tennis Tour W60 event in Grodzisk Mazowiecki, will mean a new career high singles ranking when the updated list comes out on Monday.
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The second encounter of the afternoon brought together two relatively inexperienced players now just embarking on their tennis careers, the Swiss Simona Waltert, 20, and Elsa Jacquemot, 18, who won the Girls Singles championships at Roland Garros last year.
The match lasted one hour 32 minutes with Waltert, the World No. 259, winning through in straight sets 6-3 6-4. She played an aggressive game which, in the end, Jacquemot was unable to defend against. The speed and powerful, effortless hitting of the eventual winner was accompanied by a clear willingness to take the ball out of mid-air. This latter skill may go some way to explaining why she won her first WTA Tour doubles title this summer.
The final will take place tomorrow and will be the third time Paquet and Waltert have met with the Frenchwoman prevailing on both previous occasions.
It will be followed by the doubles final which brings together the all-French pairing of Audrey Albie and Loelia Jeanjean who will play Mariam Bolkvadze of Georgia and the British player Samantha Murray Sharan.