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Teenager Garcia makes Wimbledon main draw

Caroline Garcia at qualifying
by Dan Imhoff at Qualifying
Thursday 20 June 2013

Playing with a maturity beyond her 19 years, Caroline Garcia forged her way through to her first Wimbledon main draw, dropping to her knees and kissing the grass on Court 16 after downing Kurumi Nara on Thursday.

The third-seeded Frenchwoman breezed through the opening set and gained the decisive break on her Japanese opponent's serve at 5-5 in the second set.

There was to be no repeat of the shaky finish in her previous match, in which she let a triple match point slip while serving for it.

Today, she brought up match point with an ace and despite three wayward ball tosses, managed to compose her nerves as rain began to fall.

"Well it's 6-5, it starts to rain and you're on serve so it's a little bit more stressful, but I kept calm and won the final game," Garcia said.

"Grass is always difficult, you have to be calm with the surface. Don't be nervous ... Now I'm able to manage more the grass so it's worked."

After making winning debuts in the first rounds of both the Australian and French Opens in 2011, Garcia hopes to continue the trend in London.

"I'm very happy to be in the main draw now by myself. We see the draw and see who I'm playing," she said.

"It's always difficult first match of a Grand Slam. Everyone wants to win."

Fellow 19-year-old An-Sophie Mestach, of Belgium, wasn't so fortunate, falling in three sets to Colombian 11th seed Mariana Duque-Marino, despite serving for the match.

Having failed to close out the first set at 5-3, Mestach steadied and secured the tiebreak 7-4 on the back of a forehand pass down the line.

Duque-Marino jumped to a 5-0 lead in the second set and although a rain delay allowed Mestach to recover and get on the board, the Colombian eventually snared it 6-3.

Winding up on the forehand wing, Mestach worked Duque-Marino into the corners before a perfect drop shot winner landed the break for 5-3. But the confident shot-making was short-lived.

Mestach failed to serve it out and despite preventing her opponent's first attempt at serving for the match, a string of errors from the Belgian aided Duque-Marino second time round, the Colombian prevailing 6-7(4), 6-3, 8-6.

Australian Casey Dellacqua failed to back up her upset of top seed Paula Ormaechea, falling 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to German Carina Witthoeft, while former top-20 player Shahar Peer, of Israel, was thumped by Portugal's Michelle Larcher De Brito, 6-3, 6-0.

Second seed Galina Voskoboeva, of Kazakhstan, battled past Italian Nastassja Burnett 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, but her countrywoman Sesil Karatantcheva fell 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-2 to Austrian seventh seed Yvonne Meusburger.

There were wins also for Croatian Ana Tomljanovic, Czech trio Petra Cetkovska, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Eva Birnerova, and Italian Maria Elena Camerin.

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