Bai knocked out of wildcard in first-round heartbreaker

Alison Bai’s n Open singles dream has been shattered at the wildcard play-offs in Melbourne after the Canberra junior failed to turn her dominance into victory on Tuesday.
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Bai was serving for the match in a tight third set, but squandered her lead and then lost the first-round match against Olivia Tjandramulia 7-5 4-6 8-6.

But Bai will still have a chance to chase n Open glory in January when she joins doubles partner Zoe Hives in the first grand slam of the year.

Tjandramulia managed to find the perfect shot at the perfect moment to clinch victory even though Bai threatened to storm away with the match.

The No. 8 seed continually fought from behind in the third set and then capitalised on Bai’s errors when the match was on the line.

“I’m pretty frustrated and a bit annoyed with myself,” Bai said.

“I don’t feel like I played that well, but credit to [Tjandramulia] because she made some good shots on big points. Unfortunately I just made too many unforced errors.

“I know I can play a lot better, we were both really nervous at the start. I think if I had managed to win the first set I would have relaxed a bit more.”

Bai will start planning her doubles schedule over the Christmas break before ramping up her preparation with Hives in January.

The Tomics hopes of having a player at the n Open have taken another hit with Sara a first round casualty at the wildcard playoff.

Troubled older brother Bernard elected not to contest the wildcard tournament at Melbourne Park and will instead enter qualifying in early January.

World No.466 Sara faced a tough battle, drawing top seed Victorian Arina Rodionova and bowed out in a tight contest 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

World No.120 Rodionova was relieved to advance, saying she wasn’t at her best at this time of the year.

“It wasn’t my best performance obviously but it was enough today and I’m happy to get through,” Rodionova said.

“We’re normally not peaking yet and we’re all in similar condition … you have to be able to win without playing your best.”

Meanwhile, tickets will go on sale on Wednesday morning for the Fed Cup to be played in Canberra on February 10-11, with two-day packages starting at $25 for children, $80 for adults, $63 for concession.

Family packages costs $186 and will be on sale through Ticketek. Tennis ACT is hoping for big crowds to send a message to Tennis about hosting future marquee events at Lyneham.




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