Paris, Jun 1 (EFE).- Ashleigh Barty on Tuesday suffered more than expected to defeat Bernarda Pera 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in the first round of the French Open.
The Australian had to deal with back issues that required treatment after the second set, but she managed eventually to defeat the American for her first win at French Open since hoisting the 2019 title.
Covid-19 travel restrictions prevented Barty, first ranked, from defending her title last year.
“It’s so special to back,” she said after her two-hour match against world No. 70, according to the tournament’s website.
“I was disappointed not to be able to play last year, but this court is incredible for me, it’s very close to my heart and it’s very nice to be able to play here in front of fans,” she added.
Barty put her opponent under pressure as early as the first game, which lasted for over nine minutes, but the American managed to hold her serve.
The Australian had the chance to seal the first set earlier, but she failed while serving for the set at 5-2 as she lost her service game for the second time, but she sealed the set after a couple of games.
Pera, however, stormed into a 3-0 second-set lead that proved to be decisive as the 26-year-old drew level at one set apiece.
Two service breaks in the sixth and eighth games of the decider were enough for Barty to advance to the second round, where she will face either Poland’s Magda Linette or French wildcard Chloé Paquet. EFE