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Page last updated at 09:33 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 10:33 UK

Baltacha & O'Brien into top 100

Elena Baltacha and Briton Katie O'Brien
Baltacha and O'Brien take the number of GB women in the top 100 to three

Britain's Elena Baltacha and Briton Katie O'Brien moved into the world's top 100 for the first time on Monday.

Baltacha beat O'Brien 6-3 4-6 6-3 to win the Aegon Pro Series in Shrewsbury on Saturday.

The Scot moves up eight places to number 93 in the new rankings, while England's O'Brien goes to 98th.

That takes the number of British women in the top 100 to three, although Anne Keothavong will slip from 77th as she continues to recover from injury.

The Londoner reached a career-high of 48 in the world in February but suffered a serious knee injury in July and is not expected to return until February.

Keothavong expects to return to the court in training on Monday for the first time since getting injured.

Baltacha, 26, has struggled with injuries and illness throughout her career but is enjoying finally making progress up the rankings as her fitness remains good.

"I turned up in Shrewsbury thinking first things first, I have to defend my first round points and I've ended up doing way, way more than I expected," said the Scot.

"I feel like I've improved so much that now I know what I'm capable of and I know I can be a real danger.

"This week is a big reward and a big thank you for all the people who have helped and supported me. People like my coach Nino Severino, Nigel Sears and Simon Walsh."

Shrewsbury is Baltacha's second $75,000 title, the Kiev-born player winning in Belgium in 2008.


"I've won this level of event before but to win one on home soil is fantastic," she said. "These are not piddly tournaments, they are very strong."

O'Brien, 23, was able to take the positives from her week's play in Shropshire.

"I can't be too disappointed though as I had a great run through to the final despite not really playing my best tennis," she said.

"I'm also delighted to have broken into the top 100 because it makes all that hard work worthwhile.

"I know that things will only get tougher from now on, but I'm determined to keep working hard and I want to continue to build on this at my next few tournaments in Japan."

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see also
British duo win maiden ATP title
28 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Keothavong starts road to recovery
23 Aug 09 |  Tennis
Keothavong out for rest of season
29 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Baltacha bid ends in heavy defeat
25 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Keothavong enters world's top 50
23 Feb 09 |  Tennis
Baltacha & O'Brien into Open draw
17 Jan 09 |  Tennis

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