Diane Parry is magic. The French made a remarkable entrance at Roland-Garros, Monday, May 23, by offering nothing less than the defending champion, Barbora Krejcikova. The 19-year-old player, 97th in the world, is one of the nuggets that French tennis needs. Another good reason to make his portrait in four points.
A first victory at Roland-Garros at 16
If she made an impression on Monday by offering herself the greatest victory of her career, Parry has already been talked about at Porte d’Auteuil. During the 2019 edition, she upset the statistics of the Paris tournament by becoming the youngest player to win a match in the final table since the Portuguese Michelle Larcher de Brito, ten years earlier.
Diane Parry’s feat! At only 16, she won her first Grand Slam match by beating the 102nd in the world, Belarusian Vera Lapko, 6/2, 6/4. The player of @TCBBennis honored his wildcard in the most beautiful way! #RG19 pic.twitter.com/vyK5zWeUHT
— FFT (@FFTennis) May 27, 2019
Aged only 16 years and 9 months, then 457th in the world, she won against Belarusian Vera Lapko (then 101st in the WTA rankings). This first Grand Slam victory reveals it to the general public. The teenager’s fairy tale ends in the next round, the Frenchwoman losing sharply (6-1, 6-3) against the Belgian Elise Mertens, 20th player in the world at the time.
Number 1 among juniors
The year 2019 is a turning point for Parry. In addition to her first round at Roland-Garros, she made a big splash by winning the Junior Masters at the end of October in China.
Also titled in Osaka (Japan) and Criciuma (Brazil), these various victories allow the Habs to end the year in the one-handed backhand position as world number 1 junior, succeeding her compatriot Clara Burel.
First WTA title in 2021
If Parry does not use the word “predilection” to talk about clay, it is on this surface that she obtains the best results. While many players usually end their season on hard courts, the Frenchwoman, on the advice of her coach, Gonzalo Lopez, opts for a different choice in 2021. She thus makes a cross on the qualifications of the US Open 2021 and flies to South America in the fall.
The strategy is paying off for the Roger Federer fan, since she is having a very good South American tour. In November, she signed her first victory against a player in the top 100 (the 80th in the world, the Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia), and won her very first title on the main circuit, in Montevideo, Uruguay. This success is added to three titles on the secondary circuit (in Périgueux, Turin and Seville). The only Tricolore to win a WTA tournament in 2021, her successful end to the season was rewarded by the French Tennis Federation, which offered her the only French invitation to the Australian Open in January.
A child of Roland-Garros
If she is participating for the fourth time in the Parisian Grand Slam, she has been around the courts since childhood. Roland-Garros is a bit like his home. Although born in Nice, Parry quickly left the Côte d’Azur for Boulogne-Billancourt. As a teenager, she became a resident of the National Training Center, also located not far from the courts of the Porte d’Auteuil. “The Philippe-Chatrier is a court that I passed every morning on my way to school, so it was a dream to play there and even more to win there”, explained the young player in the post-match conference. A geographical proximity that the Habs consider a privilege. “I’m seven minutes from home. Being able to come home in the evening at the end of a day is an advantage.”
The one who has just entered the top 100 of the WTA rankings will therefore not have much distance to travel to get to the court on which she will play her second round against the Colombian Camila Osorio.