Astra Sharma has pulled off one of the upsets of the year in defeating world number 27 Ons Jabeur in the Charleston Final. A grueling three-set comeback saw the Australian come away with the first WTA singles title of her career.
The 25-year-old West Australian had her work cut out for her after a slow start in the opening set but motored home to claim the Charleston singles title 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in just under two hours on court.
Jabuer was a heavy favourite leading in with Sharma the world number 165 heading into the tournament. The Tunisian first seed Jabeur came firing out of the gate, breaking Sharma’s serve twice on her way to a commanding one-set advantage after just 34 minutes.
However, the Australian regrouped to break Jabuer early in the second set and take a 3-1 lead. From there, Sharma was able to close out the second set 7-5 in 44 minutes.
The momentum kept rolling for Sharma in the deciding set, breaking the powerful Tunisian’s serve three times on her way to a decisive 6-1 result.
“My mind is just blank right now, I can’t believe that just happened,” Sharma said on court proceeding the match.
“I thought I just kept backing myself, she obviously was playing super well and I wasn’t really finding the court, I was getting wrong-footed, she was making me look a little silly.
“I just tried to do my best to keep things simple and try to read what she was doing, and just keep backing myself.”
It was the first victory against a top-30 seed for Sharma in her burgeoning career, which will see her jump upwards of 50 places in the world rankings.
A top 100 world ranking will soon beckon for the Australian young gun.
The tennis world’s attention now turns to the clay court season, with lead-in tournaments beginning before Rolland Garros, which is scheduled to begin on the 24th of May.
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