Duan’s first win at Australian Open

Melbourne, Jan 16 (IANS) China’s Duan Yingying took her first win at the Australian Open on Monday, dispatching Slovakian Rebecca Sramkova 6-3, 6-4.

“Before the match I watched the video of her playing, I expected that (it) would be a tough match,” Duan told reporters, reports Xinhua news agency.

“I am so happy that I made a breakhrough as this is the first time I won the first round in the Australian Open. It is just a beginning for me.”

Duan took an early break in the first set off an unforced error from the Slovakian qualifier. But Sramkova managed to break back.

Continued unforced errors from the world No 120, 17 in the first set that put down to nerves in her first main draw match, was her undoing.

“I was shaking when I came on court,” Sramkova told Xinhua.

“It was so strange to play against her because it was really fast, a really good serve. I didn’t expect to play like this.”

Duan began the second set as she finished the first, breaking Sramkova’s serve in the first point to begin putting the nail in the coffin, though lapse in concentration opened the door for the Australian Open main draw rookie.

Sramkova calmed her nerves, fighting back to level the set 2-2 in a bid to deflate Duan and send the match to a third, but the world No 82 showed her experience and remain calm.

The final point of the match saw Duan fight back from 15-40 down, taking two deuces to progress to round two.

It’s the first time Duan has won a match at the Australian Open since her first appearance in 2014, continuing her form in the back end of the 2016 season where she exited Wimbledon and the US Open in the second round.

Duan will face world No 88, American Varvara Lepchenko in the second round.

–IANS

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