Waikato player Leanne Baker narrowly missed causing a major upset in the first round of the US$175,000 ($242,853) tier-three women's tennis tournament at Strasbourg in France yesterday.
World No 292 Baker lost 6-7, 6-2, 6-7 to former world No 8 Alicia Molik of Australia. Molik is ranked 60 in the world. Baker lost in the second round of singles qualifying but was given a lucky loser spot in the main draw.
In doubles, Baker and Australian Nicole Kriz were also knocked out in the first round by the Russian combination of Vera Dushevina and Vasilisa Bardina 2-6, 6-4, 10-6.