Second serves, advantage scoring, three- and five-set matches – tennis is a sport built on the premise of second chances. And Bernarda Pera, the lucky loser who was parachuted into her first Grand Slam draw at the last minute, is making the very most of her reprieve.
The 23-year-old, who took injured Russian Margerita Gasparyan’s spot in the draw late on Sunday, is through to the third round of the Australian Open after ousting an out-of-sorts Johanna Konta 6-4 7-5 for the biggest win of her career.
“It feels amazing,” said Pera, who will face No.20 seed Barbora Strycova in the third round. “I was ready to leave on Monday and then they told me I'm in, so I was obviously excited. I was checking the tickets to fly back. I'm happy I didn't buy one.”