Tashkent favourite Kuzmova battles into second round

Viktoria Kuzmova is the top seed at the Tashkent Open

Francesca Di Lorenzo held her own against Tashkent Open top seed Viktoria Kuzmova, who eventually prevailed 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Tashkent Open top seed Viktoria Kuzmova overcame a stern challenge from Francesa Di Lorenzo in her first-round tie on Monday.

World number 56 Kuzmova was forced to a tie-break in the first set, finally overcoming Di Lorenzo 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 when she broke the American before serving out the next point to take the lead.

Di Lorenzo, ranked 85 places lower than the favourite, forced a break at the start of the second set, but could not hold her nerve as her opponent rallied to win five games in a row, securing passage to round two with her third match point.

Greet Minnen will be Kuzmova’s rival in the round of 16, after she overcame Kateryna Bondarenko, while Alison Van Uytvanck dispatched qualifier Liudmila Samsonova 6-0 6-1.

Meanwhile, Jelena Ostapenko – French Open champion in 2017 – was forced to retire hurt from her meeting with Katarina Zavatska.

Defending champion Margarita Gasparyan is in action on Tuesday against Stefanie Voegele. If victorious, she will go up against Danka Kovinic, who beat wildcard Sabina Sharipova 6-0 5-7 6-2.

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