May 23, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

“Nice gal” and lucky loser Osorio battles for Round 3

ROLAND GARROS – Camila Osorio had to wait a long, long time to find out if she would get into the Roland Garros main draw.

The No. 1 seed in qualifying is the worst spot. But if you lose in the final round, as Osorio did to 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva, you would still figure you had an excellent shot at making it as a lucky loser.

Except it’s a lottery, with the top six third-round losers thrown into a drum, with four chosen to replace the four late withdrawals.

“When the draw was out, I was, like, ‘Okay, this cannot happen to me. That’s what I thought at the beginning. This is impossible. I was, like, ‘Why? This is unfair and all of that,’ ” Osorio told the WTA website. “The day after I was more calm. You lost, try to accept that. That’s it.”

Those were No. 11 seed Nao Hibino, No. 15 Elina Avenesyan, No. 18 Aliona Bolsova and No. 19 Viktoria Hruncakova.

So Osorio’s next, right? Surely.

Not so fast, No. 13 seed Erika Andreeva got the call.

Finally, on Sunday, after Caty McNally was unable to answer the bell, Osorio finally got in, to play Ana Bogdan of Romania Monday.

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Slow start, tough finish, job done

She started slowly, got on top of things – and then, from 5-1 up in the third set, things got complicated.

Broken twice when she served for match, Osorio broke again at 5-5 and finally served it out.

Here’s what it looked like.

Mertens on Wednesday

Osorio’s second round is against No. 28 seed Elise Mertens – a quality player whose form has dropped, in large part due to injury, in 2023.

It’s a tough one. But we’d be remiss if we also didn’t give Osorio a shoutout for managing to be a thoroughly decent human being, even in the heat of competition.

(And no, it’s not because she won – plenty of those. She’s just … a nice person. And there are plenty of fans who cheer for her precisely because she just emanates that decency. She’s easy to root for).

During her second (unsuccessful) attempt at serving it out, on the 30-all point that gave her a match point, opponent Bogdan took a tumble.

Despite the moment, Osorio immediately came up to the net and stood there for quite awhile as Bogdan dusted herself off, asking her if she was okay. Bogdan was sort of wrapped up in her own deal but when she got to her return position and looked up, Osorio again asked, and got the thumbs’ up from her Romanian opponent.

Even after she finally closed it out later, she inquired again at the net after the handshake.

And then, after that, as she (somewhat sheepishly) stuffed a bunch of official towels into her already-full bag (let’s note they mostly ALL do that), she explained to the fans that her mother had told her to bring … six of them back to Colombia.

But upon the entreaty of a small boy, she promptly pulled one out and gave it to him. She’ll have to make up for that today against Mertens.

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