Phone rings hot as Australian teen Ashleigh Barty moves on in French Open
On her Roland Garros debut last year, likewise as a wildcard entrant, she lost in the opening round to eventual semi-finalist Petra Kvitova but on this occasion her Czech contest had a happy ending against a player better known for her doubles abilities -- Hradecka winning the pairs title in Paris in 2011.
Australian teen Ashleigh Barty, at 17 the second-youngest player in the draw behind 16-year-old Croatian Donna Vekic, reached the second round of the French Open on Wednesday with an impressive 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 win over Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.
The teen from Ipswich, Queensland, secured her maiden Grand Slam main draw success with a win in 1hr 54min and moved on to a meeting with Russian 12th seed Maria Kirilenko.
All that was missing were her parents -- but they were soon on the phone looking to pass on congratulations.
"Mum and Dad are back home -- my phone's been going a bit crazy, but I haven't had time to look at it yet!" grinned Barty, who first came to prominence in winning the junior Wimbledon title in 2011.
Asked if she had any thoughts on her second round opponent, she said simply: "I hadn't even looked at the draw, I hadn't even thought about it. I've never made it to a second round before!"
On her Roland Garros debut last year, likewise as a wildcard entrant, she lost in the opening round to eventual semi-finalist Petra Kvitova.
"Last year playing Petra was a bit David against Goliath -- but you can't buy experience like that.
"Maybe it was too early, but it's helped me this year."
If Kvitova was a bridge too far 12 months ago, Barty has certainly come on leaps and bounds since and on this occasion her Czech contest had a happy ending against a player better known for her doubles abilities -- Hradecka winning the pairs title in Paris in 2011.
A break for 3-1 in the opening set served notice of her intent and Barty then broke again to take the advantage after Hradecka had first pulled her back to 5-5 bolstered by a break in the ninth game.
Hradecka pulled her socks up in the second set and two breaks swiftly moved her out to 5-1 before she duly levelled the contest.
But after trading opening serves in the decider, it was Barty who dug deeper into her reserves as she rattled off the final five games to advance on the red clay.
Against Kirilenko, Barty will come up against a player whose doubles dreams she ended at the Australian Open when, partnering Casey Dellacqua - "one of my closest mates" - she went all the way to the final.
Barty says she will look to take as much from her next match as possible as she builds on each experience.
"I'm not putting too much pressure on myself," explained the teen, while adding: "I definitely feel more comfortable" in the Grand Slam arena compared with her opening campaign last year.
"I'm in the second round and it's really exciting."