Great start for Dellacqua
Hometown favourite Casey Dellacqua has kicked off her 2012 Australian Open campaign in style after cruising past Serbian Bojana Jovanovski 6-3 6-2.
The Australian needed only one hour and 16 minutes to take out the straight-sets victory by playing aggressive tennis, boldly aiming for the lines wherever possible.
The wildcard entrant advanced past the first round at Melbourne Park for the third time in her career, her most recent effort in 2010 where she bowed out to Venus Williams in the third round.
An evidently chirpy Dellacqua said she was rapt with her match and relieved she was back on the winner’s list at the Australian Open.
“It feels good,” she said.
“It just feels rewarding … for the last few years what I’ve been through. [There’s] certainly relief to get a win at Grand Slam level.”
Dellacqua said having lost to Jovanovski twice previously was an advantage as it helped her mentally for the match.
“I think it’s easier when you haven’t beaten someone as well to come out,” she said.
“I guess she knew she’d beaten me twice, so it’s different mentally.”
Dellacqua immediately stamped her authority via a booming crosscourt forehand winner on the opening point as she held serve to love.
But the 26-year-old’s promising start quickly diminished after four consecutive unforced errors in the second game, including a wayward forehand landing well beyond the doubles line.
Locked at 3-3 with neither player able to hold serve, Dellacqua finally stormed away by continually pushing Jovanovski wide before unleashing a punishing winner to the opposite side of the court.
While the Serb kept fighting, Dellacqua countered her opponent’s aggressive groundstrokes by waiting patiently before transitioning into the attack and pushing up the court.
A string of costly Jovanovski unforced errors saw Dellacqua take out the opening set 6-3.
The Australian held serve to start the second set after an eight-minute game showcasing five deuces.
Jovanovski broke serve in the third game to take a 2-1 lead but her good work was instantly unwound after double-faulting in the following game, allowing Dellacqua to break back.
Down 40-15 in the sixth, Dellacqua won four consecutive points and eventually broke the Serb’s serve with a vicious return winner down the line to take a crucial 4-2 lead.
With a second round spot in sight, Dellacqua continued to surge and lost only two more points before taking out the match, leaving Jovanovski wondering where it all went wrong.
Dellacqua is faced with a daunting task in the second round as she takes on world-ranked No.3 Victoria Azarenka, a match she said will be a huge challenge.
“It’s going to be the toughest opponent that [I’ve] played for a long time actually,” she said.
“I’ll just be playing free tennis and see what happens.”