A phenomenal forehand on the run wasn't just the highlight of Clara Tauson's first-round win over Irina-Camelia Begu at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz, but served as a reminder of the 20-year-old's potential.
This time last year, Tauson was on the rise, and at a career high of No.33. But a torrid 12 months have seen the young Dane beset by illness and injury. The latest was a foot problem that kept her out of the Australian Open, and her ranking has consequently slipped to No.141.
Tauson only entered the Linz draw as a lucky loser, having lost to Rebeka Masarova in the last round of qualifying. But she was on spectacular form in upsetting No.3 seed Begu for her first Top 30 win since defeating Belinda Bencic in Doha last February.
With shots like this flashy forehand, struck from outside the doubles alley and landing right in the corner of Begu's court, 2023 could be shaping up as a big comeback year for Tauson.
Lyon first-round highlights: Niemeier d. Kenin | Lys d. Rakhimova | Van Uytvanck d. Noskova | Vondrousova d. Tomova | Masarova d. Alexandrova | Potapova d. Bronzetti| Sakkari d. Parrizas Diaz | Friedsam d. Errani | Kalinina d. Parks | Tauson d. Begu
Other winners on Day 3 of Linz included No.4 seed Anhelina Kalinina, who ended freshly-crowned Lyon champion Alycia Parks' 15-match indoor winning streak 6-2, 7-5. Anna-Lena Friedsam, the 2015 runner-up, also won a top-quality clash of all-court exchanges over Sara Errani 6-2, 6-4 in 1 hour and 45 minutes.