Thu, Jan 31, 2013 - Page 19 News List

WTA: Roberta Vinci cruises in Paris Open first round

AFP, PARIS

Roberta Vinci returns to Simona Halep at the Paris Open on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP

Australian Open doubles champion Roberta Vinci cruised through the opening singles round at the Paris Open on Tuesday as she brushed aside Romania’s Simona Halep 6-0, 6-3.

Vinci, who sealed her third Grand Slam doubles crown alongside partner and fellow Italian Sara Errani in Melbourne on Friday last week, powered past a hapless Halep in just 52 minutes to set up a second-round match with Germany’s Mona Barthel.

Earlier, French teenager Kristina Mladenovic claimed the biggest scalp of her fledgling career as she knocked out world No. 19 Julia Goerges of Germany in the first round.

Nineteen-year-old Mladenovic, ranked 87th in the world, lost her way after going up a set and a break in the French capital, allowing Goerges to force a decider, but she held her nerve as the German crumbled to clinch a 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4) victory.

Excited after recording her best win to date on the WTA Tour, Mladenovic jumped the gun in revealing that she has been called up to France’s Federation Cup squad for next month’s tie against Germany, 24 hours ahead of the official announcement by new team captain Amelie Mauresmo.

“I found out that I had been selected just before the match,” she said. “That could have put extra pressure on me, but maybe Amelie just wanted to test me and put a little element of doubt in the minds of the Germans.”

Mladenovic appeared to be on course for a straight-sets victory as she served at 4-3 in the second, but seventh seed Goerges broke to level before reeling off three of the next four games to extend the contest.

Goerges then secured what appeared a decisive service break in the sixth game of the final set, but faltered as she tried to close it out at 5-3, planting an attempted backhand dropshot into the net on break point.

The French teen eventually forced a final set tiebreak and kept her composure to book a round-of-16 showdown with either Yanina Wickmayer or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Alize Cornet progressed to the second round after defeating Sweden’s Sofia Arvidson 6-3, 4-6, 6-0, while Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain and Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele also advanced.

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