Lucky loser Sharma 'chokes' at Wimbledon

·2-min read

Astra Sharma admitted that she choked after missing out on a glorious chance to win her first match at Wimbledon following a late call to play as a 'lucky loser'.

Perth's Sharma, knocked out in the third round of qualifying last Friday, learned half an hour before her match on Wednesday that she'd been given a second chance after Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko withdrew from the tournament.

But though the world No.127 looked for long periods of her first-round match against experienced 109th-ranked Czech Kristyna Pliskova as if she would cash in, she blew two winning opportunities in the final two sets before losing again 3-6 6-4 6-4.

"I don't really know what to say, it was just a choke. I mean, credit to Pliskova, she managed to hang in there and stay tough but I just kinda gagged it a little bit and that's what's really painful right now," said the Singapore-born West Australian.

"Really frustrating. I think it was just little bit thinking ahead and not really sitting in the moment and that's really disappointing."

Sharma admitted that she'd found it "a little bit tough" to prepare for a big match with just half an hour's notice but it did not stop her racing to an early lead.

After dominating the opening set with her aggressive groundstrokes, she looked to be heading to victory in the second set when 4-2 up, only for the left-hander Pliskova, twin sister of luminary Karolina, to reel off the next four games.

Again, Sharma, who had made a major breakthrough in April by winning the first WTA tournament of her career in Charleston, regrouped to move into another 4-2 lead in the decider, but Pliskova showed all her experience to take command with the winning line approaching.

Sharma appeared to get a little tight, not going for her shots as aggressively as she had before, while the Czech only grew stronger, powering to victory after one hour 40 minutes with a break to love in the final game.

"Just got to get back to the drawing board and figure a way to not let this keep happening," sighed Sharma.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting