Astra Sharma powers into Roland Garros second round
Australia's Astra Sharma matches her career-best Grand Slam result by advancing to the second round in Paris.
Astra Sharma is moving on at Roland Garros, advancing to the second round with an impressive 7-6(5) 6-2 victory against Romanian qualifier Irina Bara in Paris today.
The No.124-ranked Australian wildcard made a confident start, firing 24 winners in a 51-minute opening set.
Sharma continued to dictate play against the world No.122 in the second set, breaking in the sixth game to build a 4-2 lead.
From there, Sharma closed out victory after 84 minutes on court. She finished the match with 36 winners to Bara’s 16.
It matches Sharma’s career-best singles result at Grand Slam level, having also made the second round at Australian Open 2019 and Roland Garros last year.
“It’s a very special moment, it means a lot,” Sharma told media after her win.
Looking to progress to her first major third round, Sharma needs to defeat No.25 seed Ons Jabeur in her next match. It is a rematch of the Charleston final from April, where the 25-year-old from Perth defeated the Tunisian in three sets to score her first top-30 win and clinch her maiden WTA singles title.
In other results today, world No.1 Ash Barty survived an opening-round test. The 2019 champion needed three sets to beat American Bernarda Pera, eventually prevailing 6-4 3-6 6-2 to score her eighth consecutive win at Roland Garros.
Alex de Minaur is also through to the second round after recording a 6-2 6-4 7-6(4) victory against Italian Stefano Travaglia. The No.21-seeded Australian hit 11 aces in the two hour and 28 minute battle.
It marks the second time that De Minaur has reached the second round in Paris, matching his 2019 effort. His next opponent is world No.83 Marco Cecchinato, a 28-year-old Italian who made the Roland Garros semifinals in 2018. De Minaur leads their head-to-head record 3-2, however Cecchinato defeated the 22-year-old in the first round at this tournament last year.
James Duckworth continued a memorable day for Aussies in Paris, notching his first Roland Garros main draw win. The world No.101 defeated Italy’s Salvatore Caruso 6-4 3-6 7-6(4) 6-2.
World No.3 and 13-time champion Rafael Nadal spoiled a clean-sweep for the Aussies though, defeating Alexei Popyrin in straight sets.
“It was a good match and it was a really good experience,” said 21-year-old Popyrin, who was unable to convert two set points during the third set. “I think it’s his court. It will always be his court.”
Aussies in action – Roland Garros
Women’s singles, first round
[WC] Astra Sharma (AUS) d [Q] Irina Bara (ROU) 7-6(5) 6-2
 Ash Barty (AUS) d Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-4 3-6 6-2
Men’s singles, first round
 Alex de Minaur (AUS) d Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 6-2 6-4 7-6(4)
James Duckworth (AUS) d Salvatore Caruso (ITA) 6-4 3-6 7-6(4) 6-2
 Rafael Nadal (ESP) d Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 6-3 6-2 7-6(3)
Women’s singles, second round
 Ash Barty (AUS) v Magda Linette (POL)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v  Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
[WC] Astra Sharma (AUS) v  Ons Jabeur (TUN)
Men’s singles, second round
 Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Marco Cecchinato (ITA)
James Duckworth (AUS) v Ricardas Berankis (LTU)
Women’s doubles, first round
 Ellen Perez (AUS)/Zheng Saisai (CHN) v Cori Gauff (USA)/Venus Williams (USA)
 Ash Barty (AUS)/Jennifer Brady (USA) v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)/Elena Rybakina (KAZ)
Arina Rodionova (AUS)/Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR) v  Nadiia Kichenok (UKR)/Raluca Olaru (ROU)
Storm Sanders (AUS)/Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS)/Yana Sizikova (RUS)
Astra Sharma (AUS)/Hayley Carter (USA) v Vivian Heisen (GER)/Kveta Peschke (CZE)
Men’s doubles, first round
 John Peers (AUS)/Michael Venus (NZL) v [WC] Benjamin Bonzi (FRA)/Antoine Hoang (FRA)
Max Purcell (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) v [WC] Gregoire Barrere (FRA)/Albano Olivetti (FRA)
Matt Ebden (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS) v Robin Haase (NED)/Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)
Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Matt Reid (AUS) v Federico Delbonis (ARG)/Divij Sharan (IND)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) v Tomislav Brkic (BIH)/Nikola Cacic (SRB)