Marina Erakovic hopes her renowned ability on grass courts will sway the New Zealand Olympic Committee after her disappointing first-round exit at the French Open.
In Erakovic's final chance to push her case for Olympic selection, the world No 42 lost to 95th-ranked Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino, a claycourt specialist.
The kiwi bounced back to win her opening doubles match overnight (NZT), teaming with Romanian doubles partner Monica Niculescu to comfortably account for the French wildcard pairing of Severine Beltrame and Laura Thorpe 7-5 6-4.
"Monica and I we had our ups and downs and we were both a bit nervous today,'' Erakovic said.
"But we managed to stay calm and play some good tennis. We were solid and hopefully this win can give us a boost to play better in the next round."
The Kiwi/Romanian duo will take on the Chinese pairing of Shuai Peng and Jie Jheng in the second round.
Beyond Paris, 24-year-old Erakovic now has to wait for the NZOC to decide whether she contests her second Olympic women's singles, at Wimbledon, starting on July 28.
Having played in Beijing four years ago, she appeared bemused about all the focus on her Games chances.
"Of course I would like to go [to the Olympics]. Grass is a surface I play well on and I have done well on," she told Radio Sport.
"There are a lot of players from different countries around my ranking who are going so I don't know what the big issue is."
A decision on Erakovic's selection won't be made until the June 15 NZOC deadline for nominations. Tennis NZ has provided a formal nomination and is keeping the NZOC updated on Erakovic's results and world ranking.
The world's top 56 women players on June 11, after the French Open, are guaranteed entry to the singles draw.
With a maximum of four players a country, Erakovic should comfortably make the cut. Then it's up to the NZOC to rubber-stamp it.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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