Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) vs.  Bernarda Pera (USA)
Pera caught my attention earlier this year when she made a run at the Australian Open. She defeated Johanna Konta, then a top ten player, before she lost in the third round to Barbora Strycova. At that time she was ranked 123. Approximately one month later, she ran into Konta again; however, she was unable to get another victory over the Brit. Since then she has been toiling in the qualifying rounds.
Arruabarrena is a talented player; however, she has been having a rough go of it lately. This was a perfect opportunity for the American and she took advantage of it. The first set could have gone either way. Arruabarrena broke back to even the set at 5-5 and had a break point to take the lead and serve for the set; however, Pera denied her with some nifty serving. The American broke again to take the first set.
The second set was as much a battle against the Spaniard as it was a battle of nerves. Pera played brilliant tennis for the entire set until it came time to close it out. At 5-0, she had numerous chances to break the Spaniard and win the match; yet, she could not convert. She was broken at 5-1 when she served for the match and again at 5-3. Finally in frustration she started hitting out in her return game and broke the Spaniard to win the match 7-5, 6-4. Pera got a wildcard (WC) entry into the main draw and she made good use of the opportunity; she broke into the top hundred for the first time in her career with this victory.
OTHER AMERICAN FIRST ROUND VICTORIES
Christina McHale defeated Kaia Kanepi 1-3. Kanepi retired due to injury.
[WC] Amanda Anisimova def. Qiang Wang 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. The American injured her ankle during this match, which may impact her game in the next round.
[WC] Claire Liu defeated [WC] Whitney Osuigwe (USA) 6-3, 6-1.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: Zimbio.com (Scott Barbour/Getty Images AsiaPac: Bernarda Pera)