Qualifying drama as Dunne keeps Wimbledon hopes alive

Rising tennis star Katy Dunne in action
Rising tennis star Katy Dunne in action

British wild card Katy Dunne survived a disqualification scare to keep her Wimbledon dreams alive as she beat Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-2 to reach the second round of qualifying.

The Hemel Hempstead ace breathed a sigh of relief after making it through despite the unexpected events that unfolded on Court 14 midway through the second set.

“I was 2-1 down and hit a double fault,” Dunne told www.wimbledon.com. “She hit it back, and I practised my third ball.

“As I hit (it) the line judge walked into it. Obviously it was quite a hard shot as I was going for it.

I was like ‘oh my God’, I dropped my racket. I told the umpire I didn’t mean to and she said ‘I know you didn’t but I have to call the supervisors’.

“For three minutes we were sitting there waiting to hear if I could carry on or not.”

Fearing that she would be defaulted, the 20-year-old burst into tears and struggled to control her breathing. After three nail-biting minutes, the umpire eventually ruled play could continue but the world No 335’s emotions were all over the place.

Dunne lost the next two games on the trot and, although she managed to claw back a further two, the set escaped her.

By the start of the third, the Briton had regained her composure and confidence, while Kalinina began serving double faults.

Trailing 0-3, the world No 208 received a medical time-out for what appeared to be a right wrist injury, but Dunne stormed to victory in a whisker over two hours – dropping just two games in the final set.

“I’m very happy to get through,” Dunne said. “I haven’t won a match for seven tournaments. I’ve been playing 50ks. I’ve had a couple of bad matches, but I’ve been playing good.

£I’ve been getting close but nervous and not really continuing with the game that’s winning. It’s a massive psychological thing to get through this match.”

Reflecting on her WTA debut in Birmingham last year, Dunne added: “It’s just a different world and I really want to get to that world.”

Dunne is in action again later today in the next round of qualifying.