Despite entering Roland Garros without a single WTA Tour main draw victory in 2014, Julia Glushko progressed to the third round on Thursday with her second victory in three days in Paris, upsetting world No. 22 Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
The 24-year-old Israeli, ranked No. 98 in the world, advanced to the last 32 of a major for the second time in her career after also reaching the third round of the US Open last September.
However, since making her breakthrough in New York, she has struggled for form, claiming just two wins this year over players ranked in the world’s top 200.
She seemed to have little chance of success at Roland Garros after being drawn to face rising star Donna Vekic (67) in the first round. But Glushko recorded a surprise three-set win over the 18-year-old Croatian before stunning Flipkens on Court 6 on Thursday.
Glushko, who is already guaranteed to leapfrog Shahar Pe’er and become Israel’s No. 1 player when the new rankings are released, will face a stiff test in the third round in world No. 11 Sara Errani, who reached the final of the French Open two years ago and the semis last year.
Errani beat Dinah Pfizenmaier 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday.
“This was a very tough match against an experienced and strong opponent,” said Glushko. “I can’t wait for my next match. I practiced with Errani before the tournament and this is an amazing opportunity for me.”
Also Thursday, Yoni Erlich and Marcelo Melo advanced to the third round of the doubles tournament with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 6 seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Quershi.