“Here is Parry!” Is it the geographical proximity between the Parc des Princes, home of Paris-Saint-Germain, and Roland-Garros that gives fans ideas? Still, the public at the Philippe-Chatrier court has dubbed Diane Parry. At 19, the French took the best, Monday, May 23, on the Czech Barbora Krejcikova in three sets (1-6, 6-2, 6-3). Nothing less than the defending champion Porte d’Auteuil and world No. 2, who left the Parisian Grand Slam tournament in the first round of the 2022 edition.

It was when the rain was in full swing, temporarily annihilating the tournament and drumming on the roof of the central court, that the young Frenchwoman came to brighten up the day for the spectators. Badly embarked, quickly led by a set and a break (1-6, 0-2), Diane Parry never stopped believing in it, and saw her perseverance being rewarded. The 97th player in the world overthrew her Czech opponent, after taming the big stage at Central.

“It’s never easy to start on this kind of court, especially against the defending champion,” said Diane Parry after her victory. We obviously want to do well, maybe I overplayed a little. But somehow, I needed this. I realized during the game that I had to be aggressive, not wait. Towards the end of the first set, I kind of found my groove. » And started to annoy the tenant. “I told myself to play my game, let go of my shots. I had nothing to lose. »

A child of Roland

At 19, Diane Parry knows the Porte d’Auteuil courts like the back of her hand. The one who grew up and still lives in Boulogne-Billancourt, a stone’s throw from Roland-Garros, came there as a neighbor – and “on a scooter”, she explained in 2019. She still trains there, throughout the year.

Three years ago, not yet of age, the young woman had already passed the first round of the prestigious Parisian tournament, after having received an invitation. Now the 97th player in the world, Parry won her participation on the courts this year. “I was not planning to ask Roland for wild cards all my life,” savored the player, interviewed by 20 Minutes, before the tournament.

Supported by the public against a combative defending champion, but struggling to go the distance physically, Diane Parry savored the boiling cauldron that the Chatrier has become – the roof closed due to the rain. “I always dreamed of being able to play on this court, in addition almost full with the French public behind me to support me. That’s what clearly pushed me today to go for this game,” she said.

Far from being the most outgoing player on the circuit, the young tricolor with one-handed backhand has learned in recent years to force her nature. “I’m not screaming on the court like a lot of other girls, but I try in my own way to show my determination,” she explained in 20 Minutes. Although she lost a game on her serve at the start of each set by Barbora Krejcikova, Parry never gave up, applying these principles. “Making the other person feel that we are going to be there the whole game and that it will be hard for them to win is important. »

Former world number 1 in juniors

Faced with a defending champion returning from injury and lacking in bearings, who admitted to having “caught the wall” physically in the middle of the second set, the tenacity of the Frenchwoman ended up hitting the target. “She’s young, she’s playing, and she’s done a hell of a job of changing my pace a lot,” Krejcikova said.

Ambitious, Diane Parry is now in the second round of Roland-Garros. Far from being a culmination for this former world number 1 among juniors, whose school overlooked the courts of Roland. “Skipping two rounds already would be good,” she warned before the tournament. Before specifying: “Minimum. We’re not going to set limits.”

In a women’s draw where the headliners tend to evaporate in the first round – after the Tunisian Ons Jabeur on Sunday, the Japanese Naomi Osaka, in turn, took the door on Monday – she would be wrong to restrain herself . Because her unfortunate opponent of the day can testify to it: at Roland-Garros, it happens that girls out of nowhere (or almost) spring up like a comet and win the title.

Diane Parry is not there. In the second round, the French will challenge the Colombian Camila Osorio, 66th in the world. If she is not guaranteed to have the honors of the central court again, the child of Roland-Garros will certainly be supported by the French public, ready to sing again, in the manner of football fans: ” Parry is magical.”