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Ana Konjuh closes in on grand slam return with battling Australian Open qualifying win

January 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

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Tennis star Ana Konjuh kept alive hopes of competing in her first grand slam in over two years after outlasting Anna-Lena Friedsam in Australian Open qualifying in Dubai.

(CNN)Tennis star Ana Konjuh kept alive hopes of competing in her first grand slam in over two years after outlasting Anna-Lena Friedsam in Australian Open qualifying in Dubai.

But her 6-2 6-7 6-4 victory over fourth seed Friedsam saw her advance to the second round of qualifying on Sunday and boost her chances of playing in a first major tournament since Wimbledon in 2018.

Konjuh, however, rallied in the final three games and is now potentially two games away from a place in the Australian Open main draw.

READ: Roger Federer withdraws from 2021 Australian Open

"I've been through so much the last couple of years and been to the top level, I know what it feels like," Konjuh, who reached her career-high ranking of 20th in July 2017 but has since slipped to 476th in the world, told the Australian Open website.

It's the first time ever that Australian Open qualifying has taken place overseas with the women's matches staged in Dubai, UAE, and the men's in Doha, Qatar.

There were also victories for Sara Errani, a runner-up in the French Open in 2012, and Tsvetana Pironkova, who reached the US Open quarterfinals last year, on the first day of qualifying.

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