Ashleigh Barty 2021

Barty outlasts Pera to win thrilling first round French Open match

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty survived a scare against American Bernada Pera to progress to the second round of the 2021 French Open.

The 2019 French Open champion defeated the World No. 70 Pera 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in the first round.

“It’s so special to be back, I was disappointed to not play last year. The support is very special for me, it is close to my heart.” Barty said in her on-court interview.

“I just keep fighting. I was able to build more pressure in the third set which was important but Bernada played an incredible match.”

The 25-year-old Australian recovered from a break down to edge the first set after securing a decisive break for 5-3 – hitting 80% of first serves in the opening set.

World No.70 Pera played a brilliant second set and levelled the match by converting a second set point. Pera hit 15 winners and took the set in 38 minutes.

Barty took a medical time out at the beginning of set three to receive treatment for a back problem, but she remained focused and found some outstanding tennis to dominate the set 6-2. The Australian won 70% first serve points and saved the two break points she saved.

The world No. 1 will face Magda Linette or Chloe Paquet in the second round.

Barty has won three titles so far in 2021 and will be hoping to add another Grand Slam to her collection.

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.