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Defending champion Gasparyan battles into Tashkent second round

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It was Gasparyan, though, who double faulted away the first break of serve in the second set, giving Voegele a 3-1 lead. Gasparyan pulled back on serve at 4-3 after an errant dropshot by Voegele, but the Swiss fought through to three set points at 5-4 after she punched a winning volley. A long forehand by the Russian on the first of those leveled the match at one set apiece.

Gasparyan rebounded to go up an early break at 2-1 in the decider, but failed to convert any of four break points to give herself a commanding 5-2 lead. After Voegele escaped with a hold for 4-3, the Russian faltered, and she hit back-to-back double faults to allow Voegele back at level footing at 4-4.

Voegele’s comeback was short-lived, though, as she fired two errors in a row to drop serve in the next game. Gasparyan refused to let her opportunity slip away again, and a Voegele rally forehand into the net on the second match point allowed the Russian’s title defense to advance at least one round further.

Gasparyan will meet Danka Kovinic in the second round, after the player from Montenegro won her first-round match on Monday. Kovinic won their first two meetings in 2013 and 2015, but Gasparyan triumphed in their most recent meeting, in Mumbai last season.

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