Australian Open: Girls from Iran, Kenya win first Grand Slam matches for their countries

Melbourne, Jan 24 (IANS) Two female players produced milestone moments for Iran and Kenya at Australian Opens juniors on Monday, winning the first matches for their respective countries at a Grand Slam tennis competition.
Meshkatolzahra Safi on Monday became the first girl from Iran to win a Grand Slam Juniors match, while Angella Okutoyi of Kenya did the same for her country in the same junior girls’ singles section.
Safi, playing with a traditional headscarf and body-covering suit, defeated qualifier Anja Nayar of Australia 6-4, 6-3 in a girls’ singles first-round match at 1573 Arena.
Safi broke Anja’s service in the 10th game when the latter hit a backhand wide to win the first set. The Iranian girl then fought off a late challenge from Anja and won the second set 6-3 by saving a break-point in the 9th game.
The players had traded serves in the first four games of the second set before Safi held her serve to go 3-2 up. She won the next two games to go 5-2 up before Anja came back to make it 5-3. She then put Safi under pressure but the Iranian player could not be thwarted and emerged a deserved winner.
Angella Okutoyi became the first girl from Kenya to win a match at the Grand Slam when she defeated another qualifier Federica Urgesi of Italy in three sets, winning 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4.
Angella claimed a crucial break in the fifth game with her forcing shot but Federica came back to take the second set in a tiebreaker after saving a set-point in the 10th game.
However, the Kenyan girl could not be denied on Monday as she came back strongly, earned a crucial break in the 8th game off an unforced error and went on to win the set 6-4 to win the match in 2 hours and 13 minutes.

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