PARIS, France - No.11 seed Caroline Wozniacki had to dig deep to keep her French Open campaign alive on Monday, as she needed over two hours to defeat 17-year-old Jaime Fourlis, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Fourlis, ranked No.337 and a reciprocal wildcard recipient from Tennis Australia, gave the No.11 seed all she could handle throughout from first ball to last in the first round match, as she struck nearly 40 winners in a match that had her facing a top 100 player for just the third time in her young career.
Making her senior debut at Roland Garros - she'd never even played qualifying - the 17-year-old Fourlis hung tough with the former World No.1 from the start. She earned her first break of serve to level the opening set at 4-4, but was unable to repeat the feat in two opportunities in the 10th game as Wozniacki wrapped up the opener.
Hyper-agressive off the ground for the entirety of the match, the Australian struck nearly three times the amount of winners as Wozniacki in the first set (11 to 4), but also hit more than twice her number of unforced errors (24 to 10).
The teenager cleaned up her tennis in the second set, using a love hold as a springboard to earn her first game on Wozniacki's serve in the set and lead 3-1. Through five games, Fourlis struck the same number of winners as she did in the entirety of the opening set - to just seven unforced errors.
Fourlis' postive play rewarded her at the end of the second set, as she responded with another emphatic break in the eighth game and sealed it with a love hold to push the match to a decider - for her first set won against a top 100 player.
The Melbourne resident made her WTA main draw debut in Hobart in January, where she fell to Kirsten Flipkens, and reached the secound round of the Australian Open before falling to Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Wozniacki began to wear down the teenager to begin the final set, however, as she secured a break in Fourlis' first service game to take early control of the deicder. Though the Australian never gave up in the late stages, even earning a break point to get the set back on serve at 3-2, Wozniacki proved too tough, and sealed the match with her sixth break of serve on her third match point.
The Dane will face Canadian qualifier Francoise Abanda in the second round, after she scored her first-ever French Open main draw win against wildcard Frenchwoman Tessah Andrianjafitrimo, 6-3, 6-4.