Home delight for Jacquemot as she clinches girls' title

The No.3 seed ends France's 11-year-old drought in the girls' singles competition

Elsa Jacquemot, Roland Garros 2020, junior final© Loïc Wacziak/FFT
 - Danielle Rossingh

Elsa Jacquemot beat Alina Charaeva to become the first French player to win the Roland-Garros junior girls’ title since Kristina Mladenovic in 2009.

The 17-year-old overcame the 18-year-old Russian 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in a close encounter on Saturday.

“There are so many emotions,” Jacquemot told the crowd in French during the trophy ceremony. “Winning Roland...for a Frenchwoman, I just don’t have any words right now. It is incredible. I am supersatisfied with the past week.”

Jacquemot is also the first homegrown major champion in Paris since Geoffrey Blancaneaux won the boys’ singles title in 2016.

The third-seeded player from Lyon had been the last French competitor still in the singles draw in Paris after all of her compatriots lost before the quarter-final stages of the main singles draws.

When asked how she would celebrate her win given the current restrictions due to the pandemic, Jacquemot said it was “complicated” but that she would try her best to make it a special occasion with her team, which includes her two coaches, Simon Blanc and Nicolas Tourte.

“I am savouring the moment,” Jacquemot said. “All the players who played in this tournament wanted to win it. That's great. I am very happy. I knew it would help me in the future to win it. The road is long. The road is long, I know that and I will continue to work.”

Charaeva was trying to become the first Russian to win the girls’ singles title in Paris since Daria Kasatkina in 2014.

No Russian player has won a major junior title since Anastasia Potopova clinched the girls’ singles at Wimbledon three years ago.

Charaeva got off to a flying start, forcing an early break as she pinned her opponent far behind the baseline with deep groundstrokes. After taking the first set on an error, Charaeva broke for a 3-2 lead in the second set as she continued to push her opponent to the back of the court.

But the match completely changed at 4-3, when Charaeva got broken as Jacquemot regained the initiative in the rallies. Supported by the French crowd, Jacquemot celebrated as she held to love in the next game, before forcing a third set with a second straight break of serve. 

It was all Jacquemot after that, as she raced to a 5-1 lead in the final set with a break to love. Serving for the biggest title of her life, Jacquemot got broken after a nervous game full of errors. But a forehand error handed Jacquemot the first match point in the next game, which she converted when Charaeva double-faulted.      


“It’s a good match and I am so happy for you, congrats,” Charaeva told Jacquemot during the trophy ceremony. “Of course I want to say thanks so much to my family that support me in Russia. I know they are watching.”

Charaeva was overcome with emotion, unable to speak, when she thanked her team. She continued after she received a hug from her opponent and a round of applause from the crowd.

“A lot of people supported me during this tournament, and it’s really important for me,” the young Russian said. “I hope that next year I can come back here as a professional, not like a junior.

“I know that today, everyone supported Elsa, but I think everyone support me as well, so thank you so much.”