Casey fights, but falls to Safarova

A gallant fightback proved in vain for Casey Dellacqua as she suffered a second-round loss to Czech 23rd seed Lucie Safarova at Roland Garros.

The Australian world No.48 was just two points from a heavy defeat at 6-1 5-2 and 30-0 love down, only to mount a spirited comeback and send the game into a deciding third set.

However Safarova recovered to end Dellacqua’s tournament with a 6-1 5-7 6-3 win in just under two hours on Thursday.

Dellacqua has worked her way back into the world’s top 50 after a torrid time with injuries and she looked impressive in the opening round against Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino.

However the 29-year-old started slowly against Safarova, struggling badly on serve and making 12 unforced errors to surrender the first set in just 26 minutes.

Safarova looked to be running away with an easy win but Dellacqua took her chances and reeled off winner after winner to get back into the match.

She broke Safarova’s serve to take the second set but the Czech steadied and lead 4-2 in the third.

Dellacqua threatened another fightback but Safarova held her nerve to book a third-round date with Serb Ana Ivanovic.

“I’m disappointed I didn’t have my best stuff early on but I’m happy that I found something and I found a way,” said Dellacqua, who has fought her way back into the top 50 after several seasons ruined by injury.

“Even when I’m not playing my best against someone higher ranked I can still compete and my level’s quite good, so that’s a positive.”

Dellacqua will now turn her full attention to the women’s doubles, where she and Ashleigh Barty reached the second round with a 6-2 6-3 win over Polona Hercog and Paula Ormaechea.