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Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Monday, 24 May 2010 15:34 UK

Elena Baltacha goes out with a fight at French Open


Baltacha is pleased with clay performance yet anticipates grass season

Britain's Elena Baltacha fought back after a nightmare first set against Agnieska Radwanska before losing 6-0 7-5 in the French Open first round.

The Polish eighth seed tore through the opener in 24 minutes, with Baltacha losing 13 straight points at one stage.

The Scot, who withdrew from last week's Strasbourg event with a back injury, did find her game in the second set.

She broke Radwanska and led 3-2 before dropping her own serve twice as the Pole booked her second-round berth.

Baltacha, making her main draw debut at Roland Garros, must have feared a repeat of compatriot Anne Keothavong's 6-0 6-0 'double bagel' defeat by Dinara Safina at last year's French Open.

The world number 62 was simply overpowered by Radwanska in the first set but pulled herself together to break her opponent at the start of the second.


Radwanska broke back for 3-3, and Baltacha failed to convert a break-point chance for 5-5. She fought back from 0-40 down in the next game, only to lose it.

The Briton admitted thoughts of Keothavong's 2009 demise were on her mind after the first set.

"I think if anyone said no, you would be lying," she said. "But that quickly went out of my mind, and I thought, 'No, I'm better than [6-0 6-0] for sure."

But the British number one added her second-set fightback probably would not have happened in times past.

"I think I would have really went inside myself," she said. "I think that's the biggest thing that I've changed.

"You've got to deal with that somehow. You've got to rise above it, and I did that today."

Baltacha's defeat, which followed Keothavong's on Sunday, means Katie O'Brien, who faces Jill Craybas on Tuesday, is the sole remaining British woman in the draw.

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see also
Top seed Serena past first hurdle
24 May 10 |  Tennis
Keothavong falls at first hurdle
23 May 10 |  Tennis
Baltacha confident despite back scare
23 May 10 |  Scotland
Baltacha targets world top 50 place
20 May 10 |  Tennis
Baltacha impressive in clay win
18 May 10 |  Tennis

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