Sharma powers into second round in Paris

·1-min read

Astra Sharma has become the second Australian woman to negotiate her way past the opening round at the French Open with an impressive victory over Romania's Irina Bara in Paris.

After Ajla Tomljanovic launched Australia's challenge at Roland Garros on Sunday in winning fashion, Sharma followed suit on Tuesday morning with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 victory in one hour 24 minutes.

With world No.1 Ash Barty beginning her bid to regain her 2019 title against American Bernarda Pera later on Tuesday, Australia is looking at the prospect of having three women in the second round.

The cosmopolitan Sharma, a Singapore-born, US-based 25-year-old from Perth, is enjoying a breakthrough season, winning her first WTA Tour title in Charleston in April and now making the second round of a slam for the third time in her flourishing career.

She grew in authority as the match progressed, gradually asserting her extra power and athleticism after the tightest of first sets.

In an opening stanza where serve was largely dominant, the pair did exchange breaks in the 11th and 12th games before a mistake-free tiebreak ended with a decisive mini-break as Sharma danced round a second serve to pummel a glorious forehand return winner.

The Australian then took control in the middle of the second set with a sequence of eight unanswered points, featuring some powerful winners, that broke Bara's resistance.

Sharma will next meet 25th seed Ons Jabeur in a repeat of their Charleston final, which the Australian won in three sets.

Tunisian Jabeur beat Yulia Putintseva 7-5 6-2 on Tuesday.