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Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Saturday, 5 June 2010 17:32 UK

Elena Baltacha wins Aegon Trophy in Nottingham

Carly Gullickson congratulates champion Elena Baltacha
Gullickson was swept aside by Baltacha in Nottingham

British number one Elena Baltacha got her grass-court season off to a perfect start with victory in the Aegon Trophy in Nottingham.

The 26-year-old Scot comfortably beat American Carly Gullickson 6-2 6-2 in Saturday's final.

"It feels amazing to win. This gives me a lot of confidence," she said.

"I couldn't have asked for a better start to the grass-court season. I'm really looking forward to Birmingham, Eastbourne and then Wimbledon."

The win marks Baltacha's 10th at ITF level, and she will now head to the WTA Tour event in Birmingham full of confidence.

"It is so great that I end up playing five matches and winning the tournament," she told BBC Scotland.

I'm now really looking forward to Birmingham and Eastbourne and then Wimbledon

Elena Baltacha

"Obviously, the level in Birmingham is going to be much tougher and Eastbourne tougher still, but I could not have asked for a better start."

Baltacha, who is seeded 12th for the Aegon Classic at the Edgbaston Priory Club, will face a qualifier in her first-round match.

She had also defeated Gullickson in the qualifying draw for the Australian Open in January but stressed that she could not afford to underestimate her opponent.

"It was not as easy as the scoreline suggests," said Baltacha. "Carly Gullickson is a very difficult player.

"She has a very good grass court game. She is tactically very good and I knew I would have to overpower her and I managed to do that.

"I played very well and I kind of stopped her playing her game."

Rain delays had meant that Baltacha had to play her quarter-final and semi-final on Friday, something that tested the fitness of a player who has become renowned for having injury problems.

"Waking up this morning, I did not know how my back and body would react, but I felt good and I really got pumped up," she added.

"After the match, I feel pretty exhausted, but it is good that I have a couple of days off before my first match in Birmingham."



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see also
Baltacha makes Nottingham final
04 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Baltacha eyes strong grass season
27 May 10 |  Tennis
Baltacha makes early French exit
24 May 10 |  Tennis
Keothavong falls at first hurdle
23 May 10 |  Tennis


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