PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Rising teenager Clara Tauson scored the biggest win of her professional career to reach the third round of the Prague Open 125K, stunning No.6 seed Sara Errani 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and 43 minutes.
The Danish 17-year-old, a former junior World No.1 who won the Australian Open girls' title in 2019, impressed first by overpowering Errani to leap out to a quick lead and then by hanging with the tenacious Italian in a compelling second-set claycourt tussle full of extended points, games and momentum shifts. As a result, Tauson - who made her WTA main draw debut by qualifying for Lugano last year - has posted her first victory over a player who has been ranked inside the Top 10, and extends her winning streak to seven after taking the title at last week's Oeiras ITF W15 event, her first tournament of tennis's resumption.
‘I was trying to keep playing my game but Sara was a really good opponent so I’m really happy that I managed to win.’— TK Sparta Prague Open 2020 (@tennispragueopn) September 1, 2020
Clara Tauson overcomes Sara Errani 6-3,7-5 and is in the third round. @WTA pic.twitter.com/8MgQEdf1cz
Having leapt out to a set and a break lead courtesy of strong serving and flashy forehands, Tauson had to fend off former World No.5 Errani at her most dogged. The 2012 Roland Garros finalist had bounced back from getting bagelled in the first set by Paula Ormaechea in the first round, and clearly had her mind on a similar turnaround as she twice pegged her young opponent back from a break down.
Tauson would rein in some initial impatience to endure the long exchanges Errani was dragging her into, though, and proved adept at holding fire until the right moment. The World No.208's backhand proved a star of the show in the second set: a down-the-line winner carved out a break point at 3-3, a short chipped redirection that left Errani vocally frustrated did the same at 5-5 and a booming one-two punch off that wing sealed victory on her first match point.
The youngest player left in the draw, Tauson will now face the second-youngest, Poland's 18-year-old princess of finess Maja Chwalinska, for a place in the fourth round. The pair are two of five teenagers remaining, along with 19-year-olds Elisabetta Cocciaretto, Leonie Kung and Francesca Jones.
It was a bad day for Italian seeds: as the last 32 was rounded out, another two fell. Greece's Valentini Grammatikopoulou needed only 57 minutes to dismiss No.7 seed Martina Trevisan 6-2, 6-1, while UCLA alumna Robin Anderson moved past No.31 seed Martina Di Giuseppe 6-4, 6-3 to become the last American alive in the draw.
However, No.5 seed Lara Arruabarrena sped past Mirjam Bjorklund 6-0, 6-3 in just 55 minutes, and Argentina's No.12 seed Nadia Podoroska continued her stellar 2020 form to overcome 2019 US Open junior champion Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 6-3, 7-6(4) in an all-South American battle. The Colombian 18-year-old fought back from 2-5 down in the second set to force a tiebreak, but could not hold off the Pan American Games gold medallist, who opened the year with a 14-match winning streak and has extended her win-loss record this season to 27-5.
Elsewhere, No.11 seed Jaqueline Cristian - who held a match point over Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the second round of Lyon, the last tournament before the Tour pause - has also resumed her strong form, defeating Diana Marcinkevica 6-2, 6-2 to set up an intriguing clash with No.24 seed and former World No.26 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
The last 32 of the 128-player draw will feature competitors from five of the six inhabited continents. Europe dominates, taking 24 of those spots, but also still in contention are four Asians (Japan's Kyoka Okamura and Chihiro Muramatsu, and Turkey's Cagla Buyukakcay and Pemra Ozgen), two North Americans (Mexico's Renata Zarazua as well as Anderson), one African (Egypt's Mayar Sherif) and one South American (Podoroska). See below for full round of 32.
Prague Open 125K: Round of 32
Andrea Lazaro Garcia (ESP) vs. Francesca Jones (GBR)
Sabine Lisicki (GER) vs. Chihiro Muramatsu (JPN)
Kyoka Okamura (JPN) vs.  Kristina Kucova (SVK)
Maja Chwalinska (POL) vs. Clara Tauson (DEN)
 Leonie Kung (SUI) vs. Jessica Pieri (ITA)
 Mayar Sherif (EGY) vs. Ivana Jorovic (SRB)
 Irina Bara (ROU) vs. Marie Benoit (BEL)
 Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR) vs.  Giulia Gatto-Monticone (ITA)
 Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) vs. Maryna Zanevska (BEL)
 Cristina Bucsa (ESP) vs.  Nadia Podoroska (ARG)
Marina Melnikova (RUS) vs. Lara Salden (BEL)
 Renata Zarazua (MEX) vs. Miriam Kolodziejova (CZE)
Valentini Grammatikopoulou (GRE) vs. Robin Anderson (USA)
 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) vs.  Jaqueline Cristian (ROU)
Pemra Ozgen (TUR) vs. Georgina Garcia Perez (ESP)
 Bibiane Schoofs (NED) vs.  Elisabetta Cocciaretto (ITA)