Cape Times

World No 1 Barty survives first-round scare

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WORLD No 1 Ash Barty managed to play through an injury problem and stave off an upset against American Bernarda Pera with a 6-4 3-6 6-2 win in her opening match of the French Open yesterday.

Returning to the Philippe Chatrier court after her maiden grand slam win in 2019, the 25-year-old seemed to be cruising against the 70th-ranked Pera when she was up 5-2 in the opening set. Barty, who skipped the claycourt grand slam last year amid the Covid19

pandemic, started moving sluggishly thereafter, clearly bothered by an injury, and then took a medical timeout at the end of the second set after Pera levelled the match.

The Australian, who started the match with a heavily-strapped left thigh, kept fighting and found a way to victory, and a second-round meeting against Magda Linette.

Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova has withdrawn from the French Open after injuring her ankle in a freak fall while performing her post-match media duties on Sunday, the 11th seeded Czech player said in a statement.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova, who reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2020 and 2012, beat Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 6-7 (7/3) 7-6 (7/5) 6-1 in her opening match of the tournament and hurt her ankle shortly afterwards.

“It is with great disappoint­ment that I announce my withdrawal from Roland Garros,” Kvitova said on Twitter. | Reuters

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