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Vinci in top form in Paris

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

PARIS - Australian Open doubles champion Roberta Vinci cruised through the opening singles round at the Paris Open on Tuesday as she brushed aside Romania's Simona Halep 6-0 6-3.

Vinci, who sealed her third Grand Slam doubles crown alongside partner and fellow Italian Sara Errani in Melbourne last Friday, powered past a hapless Halep in just 52 minutes to set up a second-round match with Germany's Mona Barthel.

Earlier, French teenager Kristina Mladenovic claimed the biggest scalp of her fledgling career as she knocked out world number 19 Julia Goerges of Germany in the first round.

Nineteen-year-old Mladenovic, ranked 87th in the world, lost her way after going up a set and a break in the French capital, allowing Goerges to force a decider, but she held her nerve as the German crumbled with the finish line in sight to clinch a 7-5 5-7 7-6 (7-4) victory.

Excited after recording her best win to date on the WTA Tour, Mladenovic jumped the gun in revealing that she has been called up to France's Federation Cup squad for next month's tie against Germany 24 hours ahead of the official announcement by new team captain Amelie Mauresmo.

"I found out that I had been selected just before the match," she said.

"That could have put extra pressure on me, but maybe Amelie just wanted to test me and put a little element of doubt in the minds of the Germans."

Mladenovic appeared to be on course for a straight-sets victory as she served at 4-3 in the second, but seventh seed Goerges broke to level.


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