Jovana crashes out in Melbourne
Jovana suffered an early exit from the Australian Open after falling to veteran Czech player Lucie Hradecka 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of qualifying.
After going down an early break, Jovana fought back to even the first set at 3-all. Relying on her experience and resume as a former top 50 player, however, Hradecka managed to break the stronghold and take the opener 6-3 in 31 minutes.
Jovana was left to ponder her missed opportunities, having failed to take advantage of a plethora of break opportunities.
Holding serve to start the second set, Jovana seemingly communicated her intent to make a battle out of it. It was not to be, though, as Hradecka went on the offensive and reeled off five straight games, threatening to run away with it. Finding her nerve just in time, Jovana saved a match point at 1-5 on her serve and closed out the game. The momentum further shifted to Jovana’s corner when she broke Hradecka the very next game.
Now serving at 3-5, Jovana saved two more match points before securing a pair of game points herself. Suddenly faced with the prospect of having to serve the match out, always a tricky proposition, Hradeck steeled herself and wrestled the game back to her advantage. Finally, on Hradecka’s fourth match point, Jovana succumbed despite her gallant effort to extend the match.
Although no doubt disappointed with the result, Jovana will look to regroup and reassess before resuming tournament play again next month.