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Erakovic wins gruelling Wimbledon opener

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/06/2016

Marina Erakovic of New Zealand. © Getty Marina Erakovic of New Zealand. Marina Erakovic has won a marathon struggle in the first round at Wimbledon, taking nearly two and a half hours to upset American Irina Falconi.

New Zealand veteran Erakovic fought back to win 4-6 6-3 10-8 and end a recent run of poor starts at the London grand slam. She exited in the first round at the previous two editions.

It took stamina for the world No.153 to see off 75th-ranked Falconi, staving off a match point in the 10th game of a tense final set.

She held and later forced a chance to serve for the match at 7-6 ahead but failed to hold.

The 28-year-old made no mistake at 9-8, with successive unforced errors from Falconi marking the end of a 2hr 28min battle.

Erakovic will next play either 22nd-seeded Serbian Jelena Jankovic or Swiss Stefanie Voegele.

It is the first appearance in the main draw of a grand slam this year for Erakovic, whose ranking slipped following an injury-plagued period of inactivity.

She won through three rounds of qualifying on her favoured grass court surface last week.

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