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Elena Baltacha wins the Dow Corning Classic in Michigan

Elena Baltacha
It has been a lively start to the new year for Elena Baltacha

British number one Elena Baltacha has won the Dow Corning Classic in Michigan after a three-set victory over top seed Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.

The Suffolk-based Scot lost the first set before coming through 5-7 6-2 6-3.

The 26-year-old, who reached round three of this year's Australian Open, now climbs to a career-high rank of 70.

In this week's WTA event in Memphis, Baltacha will play Renata Voracova in the first round, while Anne Keothavong faces sixth seed Kristina Barrois.

Britain's former number one Keothavong, who recently returned from a six-month lay-off after a knee injury, lost in the quarter-finals in Michigan to Poland's Marta Domachowska - the player Baltacha beat in the semis.

Baltacha, born in Ukraine, did not drop a set in four matches on her way to Sunday's final but struggled for consistency in the opening few games against Hradecka before hitting back strongly to pick up a large cheque in the $100,000 tournament.

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She told the LTA website: "It's amazing. I've never won a $100K event before, and to beat such a good player in the final as well.

"We were looking at the 75 spot and after the quarters we were like, 'OK, we've done it. In the semis, you can relax and enjoy it.' And then I thought, 'I want to win the title.'

"To win the title, to beat Hradecka and to make top 75 is just so special."

The result follows an impressive few weeks for Baltacha, who matched her best performance at a Grand Slam in January at the Australian Open, losing to former world number one Dinara Safina in the third round.

Baltacha will go up against the 26-year-old Voracova of the Czech Republic on Tuesday in Tennessee.

The pair have met once before with Voracova, 115 in the world rankings, winning the encounter in straight sets in Auckland seven years ago.



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see also
O'Brien beaten in Memphis opener
15 Feb 10 |  Tennis
Keothavong beaten in last eight
13 Feb 10 |  Tennis
Baltacha falls to powerful Safina
22 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Baltacha shocks seed to progress
20 Jan 10 |  Tennis


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