Ninety minutes before startling current World No. 2 and defending French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova with a three-set, first-round upset on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Monday afternoon, French youngster Diane Parry trailed by a set and a break.

During the first 16 points of the match, the 97th-ranked Parry had only won one — the very first one, owing to a double fault by Krejcikova. Things were not going well for the 19-year-old Nice native.

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Despite everything, the teenager with a gorgeous – and potent – one-fisted backhand stayed steady and, more importantly, never gave up. She battled back despite overwhelming odds and triumphed. Parry converted a guaranteed defeat against a Top-10 opponent – indeed, against a Top-50 opponent – into an amazing and satisfying triumph in her first professional match. In two hours and eight minutes, she defeated Krejcikova, who was playing in her first match since February after hurting her right elbow, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3. It was a wonderful occasion for Parry, who received a standing ovation from the French audience.

“When I was at school when my mother would bring me to school, I could see every day the Roland Garros Stadium,” Parry reflected on her victory. “It was a dream for me to play there once. I played there, and I actually won, so it’s wonderful. Today, it’s a dream come true in front of a beautiful crowd.”

Following yesterday’s shocking defeats of No. 6 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia and No. 10 seed Garbie Muguruza of Spain, Krejcikova became the third Top-10 player to be knocked out in the first round. It widens the bottom part of the draw much further.

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Krecikova demonstrated that even the best players struggle to cross the finish line. She became the first reigning French Open champion since 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko to be knocked out in the first round the following year. Her Cinderella story, which began in Paris last year with her unexpected Roland Garros title, had come to an end.

“I just think I just collapsed physically,” Krejcikova stated in the post-match press conference. “It was tough because I didn’t play the matches. Usually, the matches are different than the practices, and I tried to prepare the best way I could.”

“We started to play rallies, and I was there for those shots, I started to be a little late. That’s where I felt that I started to miss balls and where the match changed. … She was just overplaying me, because I was late and I wasn’t able to put that much pressure on her anymore,” she added.

After a poor start, Parry battled her way into the match against Krejcikova and gained control by the second set to win her first tour-level main draw match of the season, advancing her to the second round to face Colombia’s Camila Osorio.

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Parry blasted two aces, won 55 percent of her first-serve points (22 of 40), overcame 26 unforced errors with 20 winners, and defeated Krejcikova 79-73. Despite hitting 24 winners against Parry, she also made 45 unforced errors – and, thanks to Parry’s persistence and never-say-die attitude, 14 forced errors.

“I’m just so happy at the moment,” during her on-court conversation with former French great Marion Bartoli, Parry stated. “To be able to start on this court against a titleholder, at the start I told myself I had to be aggressive and I succeeded in doing that and I’m very happy.”

The victory was the latest for Parry, a former junior World No. 1 who claimed her first WTA main-draw victory and first major title at the French Open in 2019. She is part of a new generation of French players breaking into the Tour. Her triumph is a huge boost for French tennis.

“It’s hard to make a comparison because there have been three years in the meantime. I was much younger. The court was smaller. Everything was different,” the teen explained.

“At the time I was already delighted to win this first match. Today it’s even more important, because I played on the Philippe Chatrier court in front of a big crowd, so it’s even more important for me. I have evolved a lot since then mentally in my game. I know there is still a lot of work to do though.”