PARIS (Reuters) - Big-hitting Australian teenager Jaimee Fourlis served up a major scare for Caroline Wozniacki at Roland Garros on Monday, making light of the 300-plus ranking places separating them to push the 11th seeded Dane to three sets.
Wozniacki, who appeared to be carrying the after-effects of a lower back injury that forced her to retire during last week’s Strasbourg tournament, pulled away towards the end of a testy encounter, winning 6-4 3-6 6-2 in just over two hours.
Wildcard Fourlis, aged 17 and at 337 the lowest-ranked player in the main draw, was the stronger for much of the first two sets, keeping Wozniacki pinned at the back of the court with blistering drives off both wings.
But the Dane, making her 10th appearance at Roland Garros, showed her greater experience at key moments, winning both her breaks points in the opening set while the Australian converted just one out of five.
Playing her first French Open and only her second grand slam after reaching the second round of her home major in January, Fourlis refused to be overawed, keeping up a running commentary with her courtside entourage and the umpire.
Leading 4-1 in the second set, the Australian lost some of her focus after disputing a line call that went against her, dropping that game and the next. She recovered to break Wozniacki again before serving out to love to take the set.
But as Fourlis began to take issue with other calls, the Dane took control in the third.
Reporting by John Stonestreet, editing by Pritha Sarkar