Sara Tomic caused the first big upset of the Bendigo International in the opening round on Tuesday.
Sara Tomic, the younger sister of controversial Australian tennis star Bernard Tomic, defeated second seed Asia Muhammad in straight sets 6-3, 7-6.
Muhammad finished runner-up in this event in 2016 and was expected to go deep into the tournament again, but Tomic had other ideas.
The 19-year-old broke Muhammad’s serve in the fourth game of the first set to grab a 3-1 lead and she proceeded to serve out the set.
The second set was a much tighter affair.
Tomic started strongly to break Muhammad’s serve in the third game.
The American wasn’t going to give up without a fight. She broke back in the sixth game to level the scores at 3-3.
Tomic served for the match after she broke Muhammad for a 5-4 lead, but the second seed broke straight back.
Tomic and Muhammad’s serving woes continued and they traded breaks again the next two games and the second set went to a tie-breaker.
It was Tomic who took control in the tie-break. The Queenslander raced through the tie-breaker 7-2 to claim the set and the match.
Tomic, ranked 520 in the world, will play France’s Alize Lim in the second round on Thursday.
Tomic was one of four Aussies to advance to the second round.
Ballarat product Zoe Hives was super impressive in defeating countrywoman Maddison Inglis 6-2, 6-3.
Hives, ranked 385 in the world, will play either eighth seed Erika Sema or Mai Minokoshi in the second round.
Highly-rated teenager Kimberley Birrell showed plenty of fight to defeat Sweden’s Ellen Allgurin in the first round on Tuesday.
The Queenslander rallied from a set down to outlast Allgurin 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Tammi Patterson also rallied from a set down to win her first round match against fellow Aussie Belinda Woolcock.
Patterson is ranked 289 places ahead of Woolcock, but it was her younger opponent who dominated the first set.
Woolcock, ranked 630 in the world, looked on track for an upset win when she took the first set 6-3.
However, in adversity Patterson found her best form and she raced through the next two sets 6-2, 6-1 to move into the second round.
The first Australian to fall in the six opening round matches played on Tuesday was Olivia Tjandramulia.
Tjandramulia, ranked 391 in the world, went down narrowly to France’s Alize Lim 7-6, 7-5.
Astra Sharma won the all-Australian battle with Storm Sanders 7-6, 6-3.
The remaining 10 first round matches will be played on Wednesday.
Top seed Arina Rodionova tackles fellow Australian Alison Bai, while third-seeded Aussie Destanee Aiava faces a danger game against Isarael’s Julia Glushko.
Other highlights on Wednesday include the clash between in-form sixth seed Olivia Rogowska and Japan’s Ramu Ueda and the all-Australian battle between seventh-seed Isabelle Wallace and Alexandra Bozovic.
Australia’s Ellen Perez plays fourth-seed Tamara Zidansek.
Play starts at 10am at the Bendigo Tennis Complex. Entry is free for spectators.