Explosive start for Dellacqua

Written By Unknown on Senin, 06 Januari 2014 | 23.40

Casey Dellacqua is through in Hobart. Source: WILLIAM WEST / AFP

A GAS explosion shook Australia's Casey Dellacqua before she was able to refocus on take out her opening match in the Hobart International yesterday.

Dellacqua was in control 6-4, 5-2 when the loud explosion in the nearby club house shook the Domain Tennis Centre in her match with Belgian qualifier Alison van Uytvanck.

The 125th world ranked left-hander from Perth then dropped the next two games before finally serving out the match to win in an hour and 11 minutes 6-4, 6-4.

``The explosion actually shook me to be honest with you,'' Dellacqua said.

``I kept thinking `I hope everyone is OK' and I know that is probably bad but it just really threw for me for a few games and I was worrying, I just wanted to ask the umpire if everyone is all right.

``I just had to refocus at 5-4.

``I put myself in a good position to win the match, I just had to realise I put myself in that position to serve out the match and to refocus and to get more clarity on what I needed to do in that last game and that was to hit some first serves in and make her play a few extra balls, which I had been doing the whole match.

``I saw smoke obviously coming out and I just kept worrying. I didn't feel like we should keep playing if something had happened.

``I felt like we should stop. I didn't know what happened but it seems like everything is good.''

After a nearly two-hour rain delay and a shaky start, where a number of service breaks were traded freely, Dellacqua took control through her serve (winning 68 per cent on serve) and powerful forehand.

In 2013, the 28-year-old rose to the top 10 in doubles as her singles rankings slid, but this year is all about her own one-woman show.

``I thought it (yesterday) was good, obviously playing qualifiers is never easy because they've had three matches and you never know what conditions you are going to get,'' she said.

``I felt pretty good up until those last few games.

``This summer was about focusing on my singles to really try and get back into the top 100 so the French Open and Wimbledon I'm playing main draw and I'm not playing qualifying and I can put a proper schedule together for singles and doubles.''

Wildcard Dellacqua downed Van Uytvanck 6-4 6-4 after play was delayed for two hours by rain.

The 28-year-old, who made three grand slam doubles finals with Ashleigh Barty in 2013, made the crucial first set break in the ninth game to lead 5-4.

The left-hander converted her first set point with a blistering forehand down the line.

Dellacqua led 5-2 in the second but, serving for the match, was broken by her 19-year-old opponent.

Leading 5-4 she served out the match, converting her first match point when Van Uytvanck hit wide.

The West Australian will play either fourth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or American Alison Riske in the second round.

The Hobart tournament suffered a second blow in as many days on Monday when fifth seed Flavia Pennetta joined Venus Williams in withdrawing.

Pennetta cited a wrist injury.

Her place has been filled by Belgian lucky loser An-Sophie Mestach.

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