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British duo eliminated from Italian Open qualifying

British duo eliminated from Italian Open qualifying
© Reuters
Great Britain's Harriet Dart and Ryan Peniston both fall to early defeats in the first round of qualifying for the Italian Open, but Jan Choinski prevails.

Great Britain's Harriet Dart and Ryan Peniston both fell to early defeats in the first round of qualifying for the Italian Open on Monday.

Dart failed to build on a dominant first set against Australia's Priscilla Hon, falling to a 6-1 2-6 2-6 defeat to the 24-year-old in two hours and 14 minutes.

The Briton brought up a total of 14 break points over the duration of the match, but Hon impressively saved 11 of them as she completed a stellar fightback.

Peniston would seemingly pull off his own comeback against France's Arthur Fils, but the world number 189 efforts were ultimately in vain in a 2-6 6-4 6-7[4] defeat.

There would only be one hold between the duo in the opening four games of the match, as Fils broke Peniston's serve twice either side of an inconsequential response from the Brit.

A frenetic eighth game saw Fils squander five more break points before eventually pulling through, and the writing was seemingly on the wall for Peniston when he fell 3-0 down in the second set.

However, the 27-year-old dug deep and won six of the next seven games to force the unlikeliest of deciders, during which Peniston missed the only break point opportunity across 12 cautious games.

Peniston's reserves would eventually be depleted, though, as Fils brought up two match points with an ace and sealed progression on the Brit's unforced error.

Elsewhere, there was a slice of success for GB via Jan Choinski, who advanced to the second stage of qualifying with a 2-6 6-1 6-2 win over Austria's Jurij Rodionov.

After earning the double break, Rodionov saved an astonishing nine break points in the eighth game to serve for the first set, but Choinski's pressure soon told as he roared his way through a dominant second set, winning five games on the bounce.

After exchanging four holds between them in the third set, Choinski found a sixth gear to break twice before falling 40-0 down on serve in the eighth game, but just as Rodionov had done in the first set, the world number 179 saved all of them to advance.

Choinski now faces a challenging affair with Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakis - who memorably lost an Australian Open five-setter to Andy Murray in January - for a place in the first round.

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