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Last Updated: Friday, 22 June 2007, 07:36 GMT 08:36 UK
O'Brien sets target for GB women
By Sophie Brown

Katie O'Brien
O'Brien moved back to the top of the British rankings in Eastbourne
New British number one Katie O'Brien believes the big changes being carried out by the Lawn Tennis Association can produce several top 100 women players.

LTA chief executive Roger Draper has overseen the recruitment of a number of high-profile coaches since taking charge 14 months ago.

And the 39m National Tennis Centre finally opened in March.

"The facilities are absolutely fantastic so that will clearly help the British players," said O'Brien.

"I think there are five or six of us currently playing who have got a realistic chance of making the top 100.

"If one of us can make that breakthrough, then there's no reason why the others can't either."

The 21-year-old said she was "excited" by the new-look LTA.

The hard work starts after Wimbledon's finished

Katie O'Brien

"It's still a transitional phase, if you like. Not everything is set in stone yet. There are still lots of changes and we're having to adapt to that.

"If we continue to do well and push ourselves up the rankings, it's going to be an exciting time.

"We've got no excuses any more. It's down to the players ultimately."

O'Brien clinched the national number one spot at Eastbourne, where three British players reached the second round for the first time since 1991.

The Yorkshire player is determined to build on that success.

"I want to be a top-100 player, playing in events like Eastbourne week in, week out," she said.

"It's been alright this week but now it's a matter of maintaining that," added O'Brien, who has a wildcard for Wimbledon although she has not got beyond the first round in three previous attempts.

"It's often happened in the past that British girls have had one good week during the grass-court season and think they've made it.

"The hard work starts after Wimbledon's finished."


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