Astra Sharma just moved on to the second round of the 2019 tennis season’s first major, the Australian Open, with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 victory over fellow Aussie Priscilla Hon.
The 23 year old Perth, Australia native used a powerful first serve clocked around 105 MPH and solid ground strokes to outlast the scrappy Hon in intense heat. It’s in the mid 90’s in Melbourne right now, they are 17 hours ahead and it’s 1:30 PM on Monday in Melbourne right now, and the heat index has to be in the 100’s, but Astra never let up. She looked really energized after winning match point. Superb effort from the former Commodore All-American who was a key piece in our 2015 national championship team.
It’s a testament to Astra and all her hard work, her family, and our great coach, Geoff McDonald’ and his development of Astra, both physically and mentally. What an awesome thing.
Astra now faces the winner of Maria Sakkari of Greece and 22nd seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia. Ostepenko won the French Open in 2017 and was a semifinalist at Wimbledon in 2018. Her last 3 finishes at Melbourne are first round in 2016 and 3rd round in 2017 and 2018. But Astra’s game is well suited for these fast hard courts. Like her chances. She’ll face the winner of that match on Wednesday. Will have a time for you when it’s announced. You can watch it on ESPN+.
So awesome stuff from our former All American and amazing student athlete. Will keep you posted on Astra’s next challenge in Australia.