Australian Open: Irina-Camelia Begu survives three-set battle with Yaroslava Shvedova

Australian Open: Irina-Camelia Begu survives three-set battle with Yaroslava Shvedova

In a closely contested match, it was the 27th seed who prevailed deep into the third set.

john-lupo
John Lupo

27th seed Irina Camelia Begu rallied from a set down to defeat Yaroslava Shvedova 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of the 2017 Australian Open.

Shvedova takes opening set on second opportunity

In what promised to be a tightly contested affair, it was Shvedova who had the first chance to break in the third game, but an overhit forehand erased that opportunity. Both players would hold up until the ninth game.

During that ninth game, it was Shvedova who broke first to take a 5-4 lead and with it, a chance to serve for the first set. She was unsuccessful as Begu broke back to love to level the set at 5-5, but Shvedova was presented with a second chance to break and she took it at the second time of asking to take a 6-5 lead.

Unlike the previous service game, the Kazakh was able to close the door, holding to 15 and taking a one set lead.

Begu settles down, breaks early in second set, holds advantage to force deciding set

In a match where margins are so thin, the slightest error could make the difference and that was the case here as Begu held and was set up to break at 0-40. Shevdova was able to save one break point, but on the next time of asking, the Romanian converted for a 2-0 lead.

Begu took advantage of an early slip by Shvedova to take the lead and eventually close out the set/Photo: Jack Thomas/Getty Images
Begu took advantage of an early slip by Shvedova to take the lead and eventually close out the set/Photo: Jack Thomas/Getty Images

Begu is not known to have a particularly hard serve, but she was holding with relative ease, but at 3-1 ahead, she was pushed to deuce before scraping out a hold for a 4-1 lead. She'd have to fight off two break points while leading 5-3, saving both and slamming the door to force a deciding set.

Begu again takes early lead, closes door on tightly contested match to move on

Begu had the momentum and she nearly took a quickfire lead, a break point coming her way on Shvedova's first service game, but the former French Open quarterfinalist was able to hold and temporarily stave the Romanian off.

That wouldn't last long as Begu broke in the very next Shvedova game for a 2-1 lead. Although there were no more breaks, it was the 27th seed who was making progression on the Kazakh's serve. Finally, Begu was pushed to deuce with a 4-3 lead, but she held and was one game from victory.

Serving for the match, Begu sprinted out to a 40-15 lead and although Shvedova saved one match point, she couldn't save the second as the Romanian advanced to a second round encounter with Kristyna Pliskova.

Shvedova and Begu meet at the net after their first round match in Melbourne/Photo: Jack Thomas/Getty Images
Shvedova and Begu meet at the net after their first round match in Melbourne/Photo: Jack Thomas/Getty Images
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