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Page last updated at 06:58 GMT, Monday, 23 February 2009

Keothavong enters world's top 50

By Piers Newbery

Anne Keothavong
Keothavong in action at the Australian Open

Anne Keothavong has broken into the top 50 of the world rankings, becoming the first British woman to do so since Jo Durie in 1993.

The 25-year-old Londoner has moved up from 52 to a new high of 48, following her run to the semi-finals in Memphis and a last-four finish in Auckland.

"There haven't been too many British women who have been able to achieve that," she told BBC Sport.

Over the last year she has climbed more than 80 places in the rankings.

"It's another indication of how much I've improved when you look at where I was ranked 12 months ago," added Keothavong, who was ranked 134 this time last year.

"There's still a lot more work to do as I want to climb further up the rankings and pick up a WTA tour title somewhere this year."

Injuries, inconsistent form and a seemingly ever-changing structure at the LTA have hampered Keothavong since she turned professional in 2001.

There haven't been too many British women who have been able to achieve that

Anne Keothavong

"There have been times when I've questioned whether I should move on and do something different but I never stopped loving tennis and I was willing to try something different which paid off for me," she said.

"If I knew what I know now I could've been in the top 50 years ago but I was influenced by some unprofessional people which didn't help, although ultimately it's down to the individual.

"I'm now working with coaches I trust and with their help I'll continue to improve further.

"I still believe there are unprofessional people working at the LTA and it saddens me because I want to see British tennis get even better."

Next up for the Briton are high-profile events in Indian Wells and Miami next month and she is relishing another crack at the biggest names in women's tennis.

"It'll be my first time in the main draw of these events and I'll just be taking it one match at a time when I'm out there," she said.

"The standard of the top players is very high and intense but that doesn't scare me, it just makes me want to be even better so I can play like them."

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see also
Anne Keothavong Q&A
23 Feb 09 |  Tennis
Keothavong falls to semi defeat
21 Feb 09 |  Tennis
Keothavong wins Auckland opener
06 Jan 09 |  Tennis


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