Shelby Rogers showed the world that she belonged in the French Open.
Playing in only her second Grand Slam tennis event, the 20-year-old from Charleston appeared to be in control Wednesday during her second-round match on Roland Garros’ red clay.
But 20th-ranked Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain wouldn’t go away so easily, turning the match around in the second set to overcome 170th-ranked Rogers, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Rogers left Paris with a prize of $45,500, and is projected to be ranked in the top 140.
After winning the first set, Rogers was ahead 2-0 in the second and serving with a 30-0 lead. That’s when Navarro came alive to break service and then hold.
Still down 4-3 in the second set, Navarro took charge of the match by yielding just five points in the next five games to take the second set and charge into a 2-0 lead in the third set.
Rogers came back to tie it at 2, but suffered a service break and trailed 4-2. Navarro won a pair of love service games to advance.
After nailing 19 winners in the first set, Rogers collected only 18 winners the rest of the way in the two-hour, 12-minute match. Suarez Navarro came up with only 10 winners in the first set, but produced more than Rogers in each of the last two sets.
The key in the third set was that Rogers won only 52 percent of her first-service points, while Suarez Navarro won 88 percent of hers. Rogers won 38 of the 68 points in the first set, but her opponent won 15 more points than Rogers in the last two sets.
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