Barty fights through injury to enter French Open second round

The Australian was forced to take a medical time-out at the end of the second set, but returned to win the third set and make it to the second round.

Australia's Ash Barty celebrates after winning her first round match on Tuesday.   -  REUTERS

World number one Ashleigh Barty managed to play through an injury problem and stave off an upset against American Bernarda Pera with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win in her opening match of the French Open on Tuesday.

Returning to the Philippe Chatrier court after her maiden Grand Slam win in 2019, the 25-year-old Australian seemed to be cruising, she was up 5-2 in the opening set, but started moving sluggishly thereafter, clearly bothered by an injury, and then took a medical timeout at the end of the second set after Pera levelled the match.

"It's going to be a little bit tough this week," Barty told reporters.

"I think over the weekend we had a bit of a flare-up through my left hip, which obviously just needed a bit of help today, needed some assistance to try and release it off as best I could.

"But, no, I think we were able to fight through, able to give ourself a chance to play again the next round."

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The Australian, who retired from the quarter-finals in Rome last month due to problems in her right arm, improved after receiving medical treatment on her back before the deciding set.

She then broke Pera's serve twice to close out the win in two hours and set up a second-round meeting against either Magda Linette of Poland or French wildcard Chloe Paquet.

"I'm not going to hide behind the fact I'm not quite 100% but I can guarantee that I will go out there with the right attitude every day and be really accepting of that and give it a crack no matter what," she added.

"I just have been working with my team as best that I can and trusting them. Like I said, they know my body back to front, inside and out, and they know I have full trust in them.

"We're here, we're fighting, we're in with a chance and that's all we can do."

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