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Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 18:26 UK

Elena Baltacha's diary

David Tennant and Elena Baltacha at the BBC studios
Elena Baltacha was star-struck on meeting actor David Tennant

In the latest of her series of diary pieces leading up to Wimbledon 2010, British tennis star ELENA BALTACHA looks forward to some time back in Scotland with her mother and brother - and rubs shoulders with a TV star.

I am back in Scotland for my mother's fiftieth birthday. I have not seen her for a couple of months, so I am looking forward to that.

We are having a party at my brother's place, so it will be great to catch up with some old friends.

I haven't been here for quite some time, so it's so nice to be in Scotland and hear the Glasgow accent again.

I am very multi-cultural and my background is from Ukraine and I've lived in London for 10 years, but I love to be back here.

I grew up in Perth and lived in Glasgow on the whole for 10 years and played most of my tennis here.

My mum and brother still live here and I've represented Scotland at Four Nations matches and the Commonwealth Youth Games. So I love Scotland and miss it.

Elena Baltacha is targeting a top-100 ranking in the coming months

My brother Sergei opened a shop about a month ago, the Shawlands Convenience Store in Glasgow, with his best friend, Peter.

Some might remember my brother playing football for St Mirren and Millwall.

Unfortunately, he did not reach his full potential as he decided to give up the game after having back surgery about five years ago.

He and Peter met when they both worked at the Abbey bank, but they were keen to go into business.

So I am looking forward to seeing what the shop is like. He'll probably have me helping him out over the weekend.

I will be heading back down to Ipswich on Sunday to prepare for the £75,000 ITF Challenger event in Shrewsbury.

I am playing eight to 10 tournaments between now and the Australian Open but will be back up again for my bother's wedding on 9 October, when I will be a bridesmaid, so I am really looking forward to that.

It means I will miss the tournament in Barnstable. I did not want to risk being still in the tournament and having to make the decision of whether to pull out or not.

Your brother's wedding only comes once and it would have been unprofessional to pull out of the tournament.

So I have decided to take the week off and stay in Scotland and train.

I am also going to see the comedian Billy Connolly in concert. It is a sell-out, but I managed to get some tickets and I am really looking forward to that as I love his DVDs.

Although I will miss Barnstable, I am still confident I can defend the points necessary to win direct acceptance to the Australian Open.

To do that, I will need to be ranked under around 110 in the world.

At the moment, I am 102 and hopefully I can improve on that - my target is to break into the top 100 - by the cut-off point for the Australian, which should be around the last week in November and the start of December.

Andy Murray shows his disappointment against Marin Cilic
Andy Murray suffered a surprise defeat at the US Open

I am seeded fifth going into this series of Challenger events, but hopefully I can squeeze up to fourth.

Qualification for the US Open was 105 in the world rankings, but I was 113 at the cut-off point and hopefully I will not have to go through the qualifying tournament at the grand slam.

It was disappointing to see Andy Murray lose out to Marin Cilic the other night and I'm sure he is still hurting right now.

I know every time he loses, question marks are raised about his ability to win a grand slam, but I think Andy has a great game.

He is number two in the world, so he has that special something and he still has a lot of years ahead of him.

You can always tweak things and improve things here and there and I am sure he would say the same thing.

But some days you just wake up and it just doesn't feel right. The same happened to me at Wimbledon and I am sure Andy will eventually win a grand slam.

Talking of major stars, I have just been to the BBC offices at Pacific Quay in Glasgow and it is an amazing place.

I bumped into the actor David Tennant in the canteen.

We are both from Paisley and had a chat. He was really great.

I must admit that I never really got into Dr Who, but I was still a bit star-struck.

Elena Baltacha was talking to BBC Scotland's Clive Lindsay



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see also
Murray 'will come back stronger'
08 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Defeat ends Robson's US Open bid
29 Aug 09 |  Tennis


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