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Page last updated at 22:30 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Keothavong makes early Miami exit

Sony Ericsson Open, Miami
Date: 25 March to 5 April Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio 5 Live, live scores/text commentaries on BBC Sport website & mobiles. Live on Sky Sports.


Anne Keothavong
Keothavong was broken when serving for the second set

British number one Anne Keothavong made a first-round exit at the hands of Lucie Safarova at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami on Wednesday.

Safarova, ranked three places higher than Keothavong at 48 in the world, came through 6-4 7-5.

The defeat means Keothavong failed to register a win after making the main draw for the first time at the high-profile Indian Wells and Miami events.

World number four Andy Murray starts his campaign later in the week.

Fellow Britons Elena Baltacha and Melanie South both went out in qualifying, but Keothavong remained positive after breaking new ground by making the main draw through her much-improved ranking.

"It's just a case of going away and learning from it," Keothovong told BBC Radio 5 Live. "It's still very much a new experience for me being here for the first time in the main draw."

Keothavong, 25, was under pressure early on against Safarova, the Londoner saving three break points in game six and another in game eight.

Safarova, 22, finally made the breakthrough to take the opening set in game 10 but Keothavong raised her game at the start of the second, converting a break point in game five.

A deciding set looked on the cards but the Briton could not serve out in game 10, despite recovering from 15-40 to deuce, and Safarova kept up the momentum to break again for the match in game 12.

"Conditions were tough out there, it's pretty breezy and she's an awkward opponent," said Keothavong.

606: DEBATE

"It was only a few points here and there that made the difference and I definitely felt I was in there, it's just a little bit unfortunate and not really the result you want here."

In other matches on Wednesday, Kevin Kim set up a clash with Roger Federer after the American went through following Michael Llodra's retirement.

Speaking on Wednesday, Federer played down his recent injury problems.

"The back is OK," said the Swiss. "I still wish it was better, but it's not really handicapping me even when I'm playing."

And asked about how his recent announcement that he and girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec are expecting their first child this summer will affect his tennis, the 27-year-old said: "I think it's going to be more fun.

"I think it's going to motivate me and inspire me, seeing how the child grows and so forth.

"Mirka's dream and mine too was to one day maybe have the kid on the sidelines, seeing me play while I'm still active. There's a great possibility now and even more why I want to play for a long time."

Third seed Novak Djokovic will face Frank Dancevic after the Canadian beat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-4 7-6 (7-2).

Argentina's Diego Junqueira beat India's Yuki Bhambri 6-4 6-3 and will face the in-form Andy Roddick next, while Marcos Baghdatis enjoyed an impressive 6-2 6-2 win over Ernests Gulbis.

Mariya Koryttseva of Ukraine will take on Ana Ivanovic after she beat Romania's Sorana Cirstea 6-2 6-1, while Russian wild card Anastasia Pivovarova beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 to earn a clash with fourth seed Elena Dementieva.



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see also
Miami photos
25 Mar 09 |  Tennis


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