Barty survives first-round fright at US Open

green and white leafed plantsNEW YORK: French Open champion Ash Barty survived a first-round scare at the U.S. Open on Monday, staving off 25-year-old Zarina Diyas 1-6 6-3 6-2 after struggling to find her footing as the action kicked off at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The unseeded Diyas, from Kazakhstan, took five straight games in the first set, as the world No.2 committed a string of unforced errors and got in just 25per cent of her first serves.



Barty was able to stop the pain midway through the second set, converting on a crucial break-point opportunity to take a 5-3 lead and reverse the momentum in what had been a one-sided match.

The 23-year-old Australian, who reached the fourth round here last year, appeared to be back on form by the third set, getting in nearly two-thirds of her first serves and firing off 12 winners.

Barty skyrocketed to fame in June at Roland Garros, where she became the first Australian woman in 46 years to win a Grand Slam after downing Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets.

She followed up that performance with a win at the Birmingham Classic and a brief stint atop the WTA singles rankings, before bowing out of the Eastbourne grass court tournament with an arm injury.



(Reporting By Amy Tennery; editing by Clare Fallon)

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