Jawairiah Noordin came close to winning.
The 26-year-old stunned World No 174 Yang Zhaoxuan in the second set but the Malaysian could not sustain the pace in the decider as she lost 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 in the first round of qualifiers in 113 minutes. It was Jawairiah’s fourth outing in the tournament.
The China player suffered cramps in the second set but bounced back in the third to clinch a spot in the second round.
Teammate Nurin Nabilah Roslan failed to spark, losing 6-1, 6-0 to World No 195 Polina Leykina of Russia in just 35 minutes.
"I did not start well and was feeling very nervous in the first set. However, I changed my strategy in the second by being more patient. The support from local fans also helped boost some confidence into my game", said Jawairiah after the match today.
"But things did not work out in the deciding set. I became overconfident and also tried to finish off each point as quickly as possible. I was too eager to hit winners and thus made some mistakes.
"Zhaoxuan and I are on par in terms of hitting the ball but she handled the pressure very well. It is because she plays in top level tournaments regularly."
Jawairiah, the World 1,287, said local players need to play outside the country regularly as training alone will not make them champions.
"I need intense training and more international tournaments to make an impact. Players need to play in at least three tournaments in a month.
"I have registered for tournaments in Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey and I am still waiting to see whether I can get into the qualifying draw," said Jawairiah, who hopes to break into the top 400 by the end of the season.
Jawairiah will play in the doubles main draw with former World No 7 Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic.