Embattled Mauresmo survives scare
By Araz Gulekjian
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Top-seed and World No1 Amélie Mauresmo withstood a late surge by Russian Vera Dushevina to secure a birth in the second round on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old Mauresmo needed one hour, 39 minutes to outlast the 19-year-old Dushevina 6-1 7-6(5) in damp conditions on partisan Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Enroute to the win, the Frenchwoman equalled her opponent in unforced errors (51 each) and slammed 33 winners to Dushevina's 25.
In the opener, Mauresmo always had the upper hand. She broke her opponent four times to go up 4-1 and clinched the first set in the seventh game in 34 minutes.
Seemingly out of the match, Dushevina regrouped, and Mauresmo - the reigning Australian Open champion -slumped to trail 3-5. Unable to take advantage of her opponent's marshmallow second serve, Mauresmo misfired wildly.
But Dushevina failed when it came down to the crunch - squandering two opportunities to even out the contest when she served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5.
The Frenchwoman rushed the net to force the outcome and quietened the Russian on her fourth match point after she sailed a forehand wide.