Aussie grit to no avail for Sharma
IT was more than 2 ½ hours of grit and determination, but it was all for no avail for Australian Astra Sharma at the Hobart International.
The world No. 110 was a wildcard entry for the Hobart WTA event but took the fight right up to her American opponent, word No. 65 Lauren Davis before going down 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6) in a 2 hour 34 minute thriller on the tournament's first centre court match.
Twice Sharma fought back, once after losing the opening set and then from a break down in the final set to push it through to a tie-breaker that could have done either way.
Serving was an issue for both players, especially in the epic deciding set.
Sharma, the 24-year-old from Perth, was not helped by five double faults to one in the final set, as both players struggled to hold serve, with four breaks each in that final set alone.
The 2015 champion, Britain's Heather Watson, continued her love affair with Hobart with a three sets win over Switzerland's Jai Teichmann.
Watson, who came through qualifying and is ranked 101 in the world, appeared set for a round one exit after being blown away in the first set 6-1, but then took control to proceed through to the second round by winning the last two sets 6-4, 6-4.