Aussie teen Barty moves through in Paris
PARIS: Australian teen Ashleigh Barty, at 17 the second-youngest player in the draw behind 16-year-old Croatian Donna Vekic, reached the second round of the French Open on Wednesday with an impressive 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 win over Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.
The teen from Ipswich, Queensland, secured her maiden Grand Slam main draw success with a win in 1hr 54min and moved on to a meeting with Russian 12th seed Maria Kirilenko.
Barty first came to prominence in winning the Junior Wimbledon Championships title in 2011.
On her Roland Garros debut last year, likewise as a wildcard entrant, she lost in the opening round to eventual semi-finalist Petra Kvitova but on this occasion her Czech contest had a happy ending against a player better known for her doubles abilities -- Hradecka winning the pairs title in Paris in 2011.
A break for 3-1 in the opening set served notice of her intent and Barty then broke again to take the advantage after Hradecka had first pulled her back to 5-5 bolstered by a break in the ninth game.
Hradecka pulled her socks up in the second set and two breaks swiftly moved her out to 5-1 before she duly levelled the contest.
But after trading opening serves in the decider, it was Barty who dug deeper into her reserves as she rattled off the final five games to advance on the red clay.
Against Kirilenko, Barty will come up against a player whose doubles dreams she ended at the Australian Open when, partnering Casey Dellacqua, she went all the way to the final. (AFP)
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