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Page last updated at 23:59 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Keothavong beaten in Indian Wells

Anne Keothavong
Keothavong was hoping to regain her place in the world's top 50

Anne Keothavong's debut in the main draw of the Indian Wells event ended in disappointing fashion with a 2-6 6-3 6-1 defeat by Olga Govortsova.

The British number one, ranked seven places higher than her Belarussian opponent at 51, broke serve three times as she stormed through the first set.

Govortsova needed one break to take the match into a decider.

And the 20-year-old was rampant in the third set as Keothavong's serve deserted her.

"For a set and a half I felt completely in control," Keothavong told her blog.

"It's hard to talk about a match when you know you could have performed better but when things started to go wrong for me I panicked and wavered off the game plans, which led to more errors and low percentage shots."

She added: "This was a big tournament where I wanted to do well and I probably put too much pressure on myself.

"My coaches tell me to enjoy it more and to not be so intense at times but that's easier said than done."

Defeat was a rare setback for Keothavong in 2009 after an excellent start to the season.

The 25-year-old Londoner broke into the world's top 50 for the first time in February after reaching two WTA Tour semi-finals in four tournaments.

Her next event will be in two weeks' time at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami which, like Indian Wells, boasts a strong field.

All the seeds at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells received a bye into the second round.

Russian Dinara Safina is the top seed after world number one Serena Williams and her sister Venus pulled out of the event.

The Williams sisters have not played in Indian Wells since 2001 when Serena was booed in the final after Venus had pulled out of a semi-final with her sibling, citing injury.

Former number one Maria Sharapova will make a partial return to action, having been out since August due to shoulder surgery. She will play doubles with fellow Russian Elena Vesnina.

Jelena Dokic was handed a wildcard into the tournament, but she joined Keothavong on the sidelines after a 6-4 6-2 defeat by experienced American Jill Craybas on Wednesday.

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see also
Anne Keothavong Q&A
23 Feb 09 |  Tennis
Keothavong falls to semi defeat
21 Feb 09 |  Tennis

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