AEGON Open Nottingham 2017: Destanee Aiava moves step closer to main draw after seeing off Deigman

The 17-year-old Australian talent fought off strong resistance from Great Britain's Laura Deigman to seal place in second qualifying round.

AEGON Open Nottingham 2017: Destanee Aiava moves step closer to main draw after seeing off Deigman
Laura Diegman was knocked out of the first qualifying round by Destanee Aiava. (picture: Getty Images / Jordan Mansfield)
Destanee Aiava
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Laura Diegman

Destanee Aiava began her quest for qualification for the Women's Tennis Association's (WTA) tournament's main draw on Monday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Great Britain's Laura Deigman

Aiava put in a very impressive performance throughout and her powerful style of play fought off the stern resistance shown by Diegman. 

An interesting encounter 

The first game of the AEGON Open Nottingham on Centre Court promised to be an interesting encounter. The crowd who took advantage of the free entry for this qualifying weekend, were looking forward to cheering Deigman onto victory. At 24-years-old, the Brit was looking to begin her quest for qualification to the main draw next week.

However, it was not going to be an easy task against Aiava who undoubtedly has a promising career ahead of her. The 17-year-old from Australia made history in January as she became the first ever player, male or female, born in 2000 or later to participate in the main draw of a grand slam.

She was granted a wildcard into this year's Australian Open after winning the 2016 Under 18 Australian Championships. Despite a good effort, she was knocked out by Mona Barthel in Round One of the tournament. Currently ranked at No. 193 in the world, this tournament provided a good opportunity for her to continue her progress. 

Aiava pulls away in opening set 

The opening set began in a very competitive fashion which saw both players break each other's serve early on. Aiava started to settle into the match as she held to make it 2-2. However, Deigman maintained her resistance to hold and make it 3-2. 

The crowd were behind Great Britain's Laura Diegman. (picture: Getty Images / Jordan Mansfield)
The crowd were behind Great Britain's Laura Diegman. (picture: Getty Images / Jordan Mansfield)

It was at this point that Aiava stepped up her game and took control of the set. She managed to win four consecutive games to take the opening set 6-3.

Deigman appeared to have accepted that she had given herself too much to do to get back into the set. However, Aiava's potential for the future was there for all to see with the crowd enjoying some sensational shots throughout. 

Deigman puts up a fight to no avail

The second set started off in entertaining fashion with a break of serve in three of the opening five games. Deigman was the first to break as she went 2-1 ahead.

However, Aiava showed great determination to break straight back in what was a lengthy game. The Australian was frustrated once again soon after as she allowed Deigman to break back again to go 3-2 ahead. 

Lengthy rallies were becoming a common occurrence in the second set. After both players held their serve, Deigman found herself with a 4-3 lead and two games away from forcing a deciding set.

However, like in the first set, Aiava turned on the style and won the next three games to clinch the second set 6-4 and win the match 2-0. Deigman requested to see her coach before her service game to try and stay in the match. Despite this, she was not able to deal with Aiava's powerful style of play as the Australian broke her serve once again to win the match. 

What next for Aiava?

Aiava will have to face either Kristie Ahn or Gabriela Dabrowski in the second round of qualifying with their match yet to be concluded. The main draw which includes the likes of Johanna Konta is now within touching distance as the stakes become higher.

Tennis