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Delai impresses on debut

This content was published 2 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Italian teenager Melania Delai was in impressive form on her WTA debut, battling back from a set down to defeat No.9 seed Nao Hibino 4-6 6-3 6-4 in the first round of qualifying at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

The 17-year-old wildcard from Venice will now face Kaja Juvan, who caused an upset of her own when overcoming No.3 seed Lauren Davis 6-4 6-1, for a place in the main draw.

Delai was the only Italian woman to record a victory on the opening day of qualifying at the Foro Italico. Former Roland Garros finalist Sara Errani won just four games as she fell 6-1 6-3 to No.7 seed and 2016 Italian Open semi-finalist Irina-Camelia Begu, who will next face Anna-Lena Friedsam after the German prevailed in straight sets over Martina Giuseppe.

No.14 seed Aliona Bolsova ended wildcard Jessica Pieri’s hopes with a 6-1 6-1 triumph over the 23-year-old, while Martina Trevisan lost 6-4 6-7(4) 6-3 to Misaki Doi in an epic encounter which lasted over three hours. Giulia Gatto-Monticone was defeated by Roland Garros doubles champion Timea Babos 6-3 1-6 6-2.

Elsewhere former Roland Garros quarter-finalist Daria Kasatkina was in ruthless form in her qualifying match against Arina Rodionova. The Russian No. 6 seed needed just 52 minutes to ease past the Australian 6-0 6-1 and set up a second round qualifying match against Gabriela Dabrowski, who received a walkover after Patricia Tig withdrew from the event ahead of their match as she has reached the final at Istanbul.

No.4 seed Arantxa Rus dropped just four games as she eased to a straight sets victory over Liudmila Samsanova while Stefanie Voegele came back from a set down to defeat Canadian rising star Leylah Fernandez 2-6 6-2 7-5 and set up a clash against No.2 seed Anna Blinkova who received a bye in the first round.

There were also wins for Poland’s Katarzyna Kawa, who saw off No.9 seed Christina McHale, an opponent ranked 50 places above her, 4-6 6-4 7-5 in two hours 52 minutes, Anna Kalinskaya, who got the better of No.5 seed Zarina Diyas 7-5 2-6 6-3, and Danka Kovinic who recorded a 6-2 6-1 victory over Norway’s Ulrikke Eikeri.

Qualifying top seed Bernarda Pera moved into the main draw to replace Serena Williams who has been forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an Achilles injury.

 

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