Townsend too tough for Abanda in Oz qualifying

MELBOURNE – Taylor Townsend didn’t play as though she merited being in the qualifying Friday.

The 20-year-old American was just too solid on every level for an inconsistent Françoise Abanda, who was defeated 6-4, 6-4 and is out of Oz Open qualifying in the second round.

Here’s what it looked like.

The two had a nice little rivalry going in the juniors, but Townsend won their only meeting in the pros prior to Friday, a tough three-set comeback win at a $75,000 tournament in Florida last year.

The start of the match was pushed back by rain in Melbourne (indeed, shortly after the match ended, the rain came back in force and scuttled the rest of play as of 4 p.m.). The players all warmed up on the indoor courts but the warmup itself on court was the typical Townsend M.O., with the volleys and overheads coming first. Abanda didn’t hit more than a dozen groundstrokes before they had to get to serves, although it didn’t appear to throw her off early in the match.

Not sure what Abanda’s plans are at this stage; she’s not entered in any tournaments until Canada plays its Fed Cup Americas zonal week in Mexico the week of Feb. 6.

Meanwhile, Peter Polansky is the only Canadian remaining in qualifying after a routine 6-4, 6-3 win over Mirza Basic of Bosnia Friday (before all the rain). He will face young Russian Andrey Rublev in the final round Saturday for a spot in the main draw.

 

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