Tennis: Kiwi qualifier Monique Barry battles hard but falls short in opening round of ASB Classic

  • 01/01/2024

Local Kiwi hope Monique Barry has been bundled out of the ASB Classic in the opening round on Monday.

In the tournament's opening contest on a blustery centre court, the NZ qualifier fell to highly favoured Russian opponent Elina Avanesyan in straight sets 7-6 6-2.

The contest began encouragingly for the Australian-based Barry, earning a break of serve in the first game of the match.

Monique Barry.
Monique Barry. Photo credit: Photosport

But errors began to creep in, as Avenesyan fought her way back into the battle to being the score to three games apiece.

Another break for Barry afforded her a golden chance to serve for the opening set. But she was unable to convert, with a hard-fought tiebreaker eventually going the way of the Russian 8-6.

The second set followed the back-and-forth nature of the first, until Avenesyan broke to take a 4-2 lead and never looked back.

Result aside, it was a heartening performance by the 21-year-old, who secured entry via playoff, clinching the wildcard spot reserved for a Kiwi player by organisers.

Ranked No. 74 in the world, the 21-year-old Avanesyan is regarded as one of the sport's rising young talents and sits 455 spots above Barry (No. 529).