June 2, 2018 / 7:40 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Tennis-Impressive Garcia races into French Open last 16

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PARIS, June 2 (Reuters) - Caroline Garcia suffered some late jitters but produced an impressive performance to beat Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1 6-3 and keep alive home hopes at the French Open on Saturday.

With all the surviving French men falling on Day Seven it was left to seventh seed Garcia to fly the flag and she did just that to set up a clash with Angelique Kerber.

Garcia, a quarter-finalist last year, was always in control but struggled to finish off her opponent on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

After being broken when serving for the match at 5-2 she then spent 13 minutes winning the next game to seal victory.

“To finish a match is not easy, especially when you’re leading and your opponent has nothing to lose and releases her shots and takes risks,” she said.

Asked how she would handle being the last French singles player heading into the second week, Garcia played down talk of pressure. “Last year it was the same, because Kristina (Mladenovic) played and then she lost, and I was the last French player last year,” she said.

“I don’t think it’s going to put much pressure on me. I try to take advantage of the fact that I’m in the French Open and see where I get. Sometimes you’re luckier than others.”

Mary Pierce was the last French woman to win the French Open in 2000 while the wait for a men’s champion stretches back to 1983 when Yannick Noah prevailed. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Clare Fallon)

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