19 January - 1 February 2015
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Arina Rodionova

Australia’s Rodionova sisters had mixed fortunes in the first round of women’s qualifying, with Anastasia advancing to the second round while younger sister Arina was eliminated.

Anastasia defeated No.2 qualifying seed Coco Vanderweghe 6-4 6-4 on Thursday afternoon, one of several top seeded players to be dumped from qualifying.

Rodionova gained an early advantage as she broke Vanderweghe’s serve, and consolidated the break at 4-3 by recovering from 15-30 to win the eighth game.

Up 5-3, Rodionova had no difficulty serving for the first set in 38 minutes on Show Court 3.

The second set followed the same template, with Rodionova breaking her American opponent early before serving out the match 6-4. Vanderweghe had a break point to extend the match, but the 31-year-old Australian prevailed on the fourth match point to advance to the second round of qualifying for the third time in the past four years.

The American struggled to get her biggest asset going, with Vanderweghe producing ten double faults, to outweigh her eight aces, while committing 46 unforced errors to join men’s No.1 qualifying seed Dustin Brown as the latest top seed to be eliminated.

Anastasia will play the winner of Melanie Klaffner and Carina Witthoeft in the second round, looking to become one of twelve qualifiers for the women’s main draw.

Earlier, younger sister Arina was knocked out in the first round, defeated by Great Britain’s Heather Watson 6-4 6-3.

Rodionova broke Watson in the opening service game of the match, and followed it up with a quick service game of her own as the Brit made a nervous start to the encounter.

World No.122 Watson eventually settled, holding her next service game, to start a run of five consecutive holds on serve.

Watson broke back in the sixth game of the set, as a double fault and unforced error proved costly for the 24-year-old Russian born Australian.

Rodionova’s serve was broken once more as Watson wrapped up the first set 6-4 in 34 minutes.

The first serve of Watson proved lethal in the opening set following the early break, winning 72 percent of first serve points.

Watson raced ahead 4-1 in the second set to stamp her authority on the contest, with the No.7 qualifying seed cruising into a second round contest with Stephanie Foretz Gacon of France.

Qualifying was Arina Rodionova’s second attempt at reaching the Australian Open, after losing to Casey Dellacqua in three-sets in the final of the wildcard playoff tournament in December.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015
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