Australian Open: Samantha Crawford rallies from a set down to beat Lauren Davis

Australian Open: Samantha Crawford rallies from a set down to beat Lauren Davis

In a matchup of two young Americans, it was the lower-ranked Crawford coming through to reach the second round.

John Lupo

Samantha Crawford came from a set down to defeat ASB Classic champion Lauren Davis 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 in the first round of the 2017 Australian Open.

Davis takes nervy first set to assume the lead

Davis comes into Melbourne with momentum, having won her first career title in Auckland and she took the first eight points of this match to claim a quick 2-0 lead. With both players settling into a groove on serve, there were no break chances until the sixth game.

In that sixth game, Crawford had her first two break chances and after the first chance went begging, the 162nd-ranked American broke back in a 14-point marathon. Davis fell behind 40-15 on Crawford's next service game, but a rash of errors and a double fault set up a break point and a netted forehand off of a deep Davis return gave her a 4-3 lead.

After both players held comfortably, Davis, attempting to serve out the set, fell behind 0-40. She rallied to win the final five points to take a one-set lead.

Crawford leaves it late to win second set, square match at one set all

Crawford's big splash was last year when she reached the Brisbane semifinals and she settled down, holding twice to begin the second set.  Davis threatened to take the lead, holding three break chances in the fifth game, but Crawford was able to fend them all off.

The seventh game proved to be pivotal. After building a 0-40 lead on Davis' serve, she wasted the first two chances, but a wayward forehand wide gave Crawford a 5-3 lead and although she was pushed to 30-30, but she managed to win the last two points to knot the match at one set all.

Crawford pitches shutout to advance to second round

Crawford opened the final set with a break after trailing 40-30 on Davis' serve. The break was achieved when the Auckland champion sailed a forehand well over the baseline. She padded her lead with a break to love to take a 3-0 lead, a tall task ahead of Davis now.

After a love hold, the longest game of the final set ensued and ended with Crawford again breaking. She served out the match in style, holding to love and advancing to a second round match with seventh seed Garbine Muguruza.