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UCLA at the French Open: Day 7

May 30, 2021
Jennifer Brady (Photo: Susan Mullane/USA Today Sports)


UCLA women's tennis alumnae Jennifer Brady and Ena Shibahara and former men's tennis standout Jean-Julien Rojer were unable to reach the second week of competition at the French Open, suffering defeats Saturday.

It was a premature end for Brady, who was forced to retire due to injury after dropping her opening singles set. Shibahara and partner Shuko Aoyama went the distance in their doubles match, falling in three sets. Rojer and partner Wesley Koolhof suffered the same fate.

Brady, seeded 13th, was able to capture just one game against fellow American and No. 24 seed Coco Gauff in the first and only set. Despite the early exit, Brady still achieved a career-best singles showing at Roland-Garros.

Pitted against Irina-Camelia Begu and Nadia Podoroska, the fourth-seeded Shibahara and Aoyama earned the first break of the match at 3-2. Begu and Podoroska answered with one of their own in the next game and another difference maker at 5-5. Shibahara and Aoyama responded by taking five of the first six second-set games en route to the equalizer. Begu and Podoroska got all they needed with a break at 2-1 in the third, though, eventually securing a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 win.

Rojer and Koolhof, seeded 11th, got their match with Alexander Bublik and Andrey Golubev back on serve at 3-4 of the first set. Bublik and Golubev would ultimately prevail in a tiebreaker, though. Rojer and Koolhof responded, collecting two breaks in the second. Bublik and Golubev opened the deciding set with a break and rode that to a 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-4 decision.


UCLA men's tennis was represented in a pair of matches Friday at the French Open, as Jean-Julien Rojer advanced to the doubles third round and Marcos Giron had his career-best singles showing stopped shy of the fourth.

Rojer reached the third round for the seventh time in his career and first with partner Wesley Koolhof. The 11th-seeded duo defeated Dominik Koepfer and Emil Ruusuvuori in straight sets for its latest win. Giron fell in four sets to No. 22 seed Cristian Garin of Chile.

The only break of serve in the doubles contest came at 2-2 of the opening set. Holds the rest of the way led to a first-set win for Rojer and Koolhof and a second-set tiebreaker. There, Koepfer and Ruusuvuori led by a 2-1 score before dropping six of the final seven points and a 6-4, 7-6(3) result. Rojer and Koolhof will next meet Alexander Bublik and Andrey Golubev Saturday at 4:40 a.m. PT.

After picking up just one first-set game, Giron stared down a 2-5 deficit in the second frame. He would mount a comeback, though, taking the final five games to even things up. Garin jumped out to a 4-1 advantage in each of the subsequent sets, however, en route a 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 decision.

Joining Rojer on the courts Saturday will be women's tennis alumnae Jennifer Brady and Ena Shibahara. Shibahara and partner Shuko Aoyama, seeded fourth, are set to take on Irina-Camelia Begu and Nadia Podoroska at 2 a.m. The 13th-seeded Brady faces No. 24 seed Coco Gauff, a fellow American, at 7:15 a.m.


UCLA women's tennis alumnae Jennifer Brady and Ena Shibahara were victorious Thursday at the French Open, advancing to the singles third round and doubles second round, respectively.

Each player went the distance in collecting her win. Brady reached the singles third round at Roland-Garros for the first time in her career. Shibahara and partner Shuko Aoyama rallied from a 0-4 third-set deficit.

The final five games of Brady's first set with Fiona Ferro of France ended in breaks of serve. Returning in the sixth, eighth and 10th frames, Brady gained the early edge. Ferro responded by taking the final four games of the second. The decider got back on serve after four mid-set alternating breaks, setting up a close a close one down the stretch. Brady finally picked up a break at 6-5, sealing the 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 win and a Saturday matchup with No. 24 seed and fellow American Coco Gauff. A start time has not been announced.

Shibahara and Aoyama, seeded fourth, faced a 1-3 first-set hill to climb against Paula Badosa and Aliona Bolsova before bouncing back to take the final five games. Badosa and Bolsova seized a break at 3-2 of the second set and went on to take six of the next seven games into the third. Shibahara and Aoyama rebounded by taking the next five games, though, and ultimately engaged in a tiebreaker with Badosa and Bolsova. Shibahara and Aoyama controlled those final eight points, taking seven and a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(1) victory. Next up for them is a Saturday contest with Irina-Camelia Begu and Nadia Podoroska at a time to be determined.

Friday represents a return to the courts for Bruins Marcos Giron and Jean-Julien Rojer. Rojer and partner Wesley Koolhof are scheduled to meet Dominik Koepfer and Emil Ruusuvuori in the doubles second round at 3:20 a.m. PT. Giron will look for a singles round-of-16 berth against Cristian Garin of Chile at 4:35 a.m.


Former UCLA men's tennis standout Marcos Giron posted a new career-best Grand Slam showing Wednesday at the French Open, defeating Guido Pella of Argentina in four sets to reach the singles third round.

Giron's previous best results came when he reached the singles second rounds at the 2020 French Open and US Open events.

Giron's former teammate, Mackenzie McDonald, went the distance with No. 22 seed Cristian Garin of Chile before having his time at Roland-Garros ended Wednesday. Giron will meet Garin Friday at a time to be determined.

Giron broke Pella's serve at 4-5 in the first set and eventually took the early advantage with a dominant performance in a tiebreaker. Giron posted a break to start the second set and would drop just one game en route to the third. Pella briefly got back into the match by way of a third-set tiebreaker, but Giron ensured it would not go five. Giron logged breaks at 2-2 and 4-2 en route to the 7-6(2), 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-4 victory.

McDonald seized the first two sets in his match Garin. A third-set tiebreaker saw McDonald hold match points at 6-5 and 7-6, but Garin answered to force a fourth. After taking the penultimate set convincingly, Garin held off McDonald for a 4-6, 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-3, 8-6 win.

Thursday marks the start of women's doubles action. Bruin Ena Shibahara once again teams with Shuko Aoyama, looking to improve upon their quarterfinal-round finish in 2020. The fourth-seeded pair will meet Paula Badosa and Aliona Bolsova at 2 a.m. PT. No. 13 seed Jennifer Brady, a member of head coach Stella Sampras Webster's 2013 and 2014 teams, is set for her second-round singles match with Fiona Ferro of France. First serve in that one will occur at 6 a.m.


In her first Grand Slam competition since reaching the Australian Open singles final round in February, former UCLA women's tennis standout Jennifer Brady was victorious in her 2021 French Open debut Tuesday in Paris.

Brady dispatched of Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets, earning her third-career trip to the singles second round at Roland-Garros.

Men's doubles play also began Tuesday and two Bruins were in action. With first-time Grand Slam partner Wesley Koolhof, Jean-Julien Rojer made the second round for his third French Open in a row. Mackenzie McDonald, who prevailed on the singles courts Sunday, was felled alongside Taylor Fritz.

Playing on Court 7, the 13th-seeded Brady came from behind before taking the final three games of her first set across from Sevastrova. Brady broke to open and close the second for a 6-3, 6-3 win. She will next meet Fiona Ferro of France Thursday at a time to be announced.

Rojer and Koolhof, seeded 11th, needed a third set to beat Filip Krajinovic and Dusan Lajovic. After being broken at 5-3, Rojer and Koolhof broke back for the first-set win. The second saw Rojer and Koolhof broken at 3-3 and 4-4 to set up the decider. There, after being broken at 1-1, Rojer and Koolhof took the final five games to triumph by 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 score. Their next opponent has yet to be determined.

McDonald and Fritz pushed Simone Bolleli and Maximo Gonzalez in a tight first set before dropping the first three games of the second en route to a 6-4, 6-3 decision. Despite the loss, McDonald will have a chance to reach the singles third round when he takes on No. 22 seed Cristian Garin of Chile Wednesday at 5:15 a.m. PT.

Marcos Giron will also play in the singles second round Wednesday at 5:15 a.m., when he faces Guido Pella of Argentina. Women's doubles, featuring Brady and Ena Shibahara, starts Thursday.


Former UCLA men's tennis teammates Marcos Giron and Mackenzie McDonald advanced on the first day of French Open main-draw action Sunday in Paris.

Giron, who trailed 6-2, 6-4, 5-1 on Court 7, forced a fourth set against 15th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. Dimitrov was ultimately forced to retire, giving Giron a 2-6, 4-6, 7-5, 3-0 win and his first second-round trip at Roland-Garros.

McDonald advanced out of the first round for the second time in as many years, outlasting Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland by a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3 score.

Dimitrov held four match points before Giron mounted his comeback. Giron registered breaks of serve at 2-5, 4-5 and 6-5 to send the contest to a fourth set, which he controlled before Dimitrov bowed out. Giron will next face Guido Pella of Argentina of Wednesday.

McDonald picked up his fourth win in six days at the event, continuing a journey that began in the qualifying round. He previously defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia (6-4, 6-4), Renzo Olivo of Argentina (6-3, 6-4) and Marco Trungelliti (6-4, 6-4). McDonald took the final three games of the second set to knot that match at one set apiece. He went on to capture a third-set tiebreaker and notched breaks at 1-1 and 2-2 en route to the decider. Next up for McDonald is a Wednesday matchup with No. 22 seed Cristian Garin of Chile. In the meantime, McDonald and Taylor Fritz team up Tuesday to start doubles play.

Joining Giron and McDonald in Paris are fellow former men's standout Jean-Julien Rojer and women's alumnae Jennifer Brady and Ena Shibahara. Rojer and Wesley Koolhof are the 11th-seeded doubles pair. The 13th-seeded Brady starts makes her 2021 singles debut Tuesday before teaming with Ashleigh Barty in the doubles draw Wednesday. Brady and Barty are seeded No. 15. The fourth-seeded doubles tandem of Shibahara and Aoyama also begin play Wednesday.