Sharma into Roland Garros second round
Australia’s Astra Sharma wins her first round match in Paris, overcoming Russia's Anna Blinkova in a three-set battle.
Astra Sharma has scored the biggest win of her Grand Slam career in Paris today.
The No.134-ranked Sharma defeated world No.59-ranked Russian Anna Blinkova 6-3 2-6 7-5 in the Roland Garros opening round.
It is the 25-year-old Australian’s second career Grand Slam main draw win and first against a top 80-ranked opponent at this level.
Sharma made the most of her lucky loser spot in the draw, firing 28 winners in cold and windy conditions.
“I was pretty happy with the way I handled everything and the way I kept it together and tried to find a way to win out there,” Sharma told AAP.
“After not such a good last round in qualifying, to bounce back like this and get a result like this is pretty gratifying.”
The final set was full of twists and turns. Sharma raced ahead 4-1, only to lose the next four games. Blinkova had a chance to serve out the match, but the Australian broke and then held to love to edge ahead once again.
With the momentum back in her favour, Sharma closed out a huge win after two hours and 14 minutes on court.
The victory, which is the ninth top-100 win of Sharma’s career, sets up a second-round meeting with No.27-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova. The 25-year-old Russian spoiled Aussie Maddison Inglis’ tournament debut today, recording a 6-3 6-3 win.
Australia’s No.2-ranked woman Ajla Tomljanovic is also out of the tournament, with No.20-seeded Greek Maria Sakkari proving too strong in their opening round encounter.
Daria Gavrilova became the second Australian woman to advance to the second round, making a stunning Grand Slam return to defeat No.24 seed Dayana Yastremska. It marked the 26-year-old Australian’s best major win in three years.
It was a tough day for Aussie men, with No.25-seeded Alex de Minaur and Jordan Thompson both eliminated in straight sets.
Aussies in action, day one results:
Women’s singles, first round
Daria Gavrilova (AUS) d  Dayana Yastremska (UKR) 6-4 6-3
[LL] Astra Sharma (AUS) d Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-3 2-6 7-5
 Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) d Maddison Inglis (AUS) 6-3 6-3
 Maria Sakkari (GRE) d Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-0 7-5
Men’s singles, first round
[Q] Marco Cecchinato (ITA) d  Alex de Minaur (AUS) 7-6(9) 6-4 6-0
Radu Albot (MDA) d Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-2 6-4 6-1