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Barty & Dellacqua beaten in French Open final while Popyrin wins junior title

12 June 2017

TENNIS: Australian tennis stars Casey Dellacqua and Ashleigh Barty have fallen one win shy of an elusive grand slam women’s crown on Sunday night, beaten 6-2 6-1 by top seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova in the French Open final at Roland Garros.

The first all-Australian women’s pairing to make the title match in Paris in 46 years, Dellacqua and Barty were downed in 66 minutes.

Despite coming up short, it’s been a successful campaign for the two Australians after both looked lost to tennis not so long ago.

Dellacqua, now 32, was sidelined for more than a year after being concussed in an on-court fall in late 2015 while Barty quit the sport in 2014 to switch to cricket before returning to her first love prior to Wimbledon last year.

Dellacqua and Barty will each pocket 125,000 euros ($A245,000) for their efforts.

For Mattek-Sands and Safarova, ranked No.1 and No.2 in the world respectively in women’s doubles, it was a fifth grand slam title together.

While in the French Open 2017 boys’ singles competition, Alexei Popyrin was crowned the champion.

The 17-year-old Sydney talent ended a 49-year title drought for Australians in Paris, recording a 7-6(5) 6-3 win over Spain’s Nicola Kuhn in the final.

After a tight first set, Popyrin took charge early in the second to secure a double break and race to a 4-1 advantage.

Kuhn, the 11th seed, got one break back but Popyrin steadied to break again in the ninth game and secure victory in 81 minutes.

It is a third consecutive junior singles title for Popyrin on clay, having scooped titles in Morocco and Italy in the lead-up to the French Open.

The 196-centimetre world No.3-ranked junior has now won his past 17 singles matches, and boasts a 23-3 season win-loss record.

Popyrin becomes the first Australian to win the French Open junior boys’ singles title since Phil Dent in 1968, and the fourth overall alongside Dent, Ken Rosewall in 1952 and John Newcombe, who won back-to-back titles in 1961-62.

It was Popyrin’s seventh junior Grand Slam singles appearance, with his previous best result a third round run at Roland Garros last year.

AAP/Tennis Australia

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