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Elena Baltacha column

Elena Baltacha
Baltacha is closing in a place in the world's top 50

By Elena Baltacha
World number 54 and British number one

It's been a few hours since my match against Petra Kvitova and I've had time to look back on it and think about how this US Open has gone for me.

I often take losses really hard and I've been known to shed a few tears in the locker room after defeats but there were no tears this time.

Of course I'm disappointed that I'm not in the tournament any more but I'm actually really pleased with how I played against Kvitova. She's ranked in the top 30 and she is seeded here for a good reason, so it's not a bad loss on paper, but more importantly she had to produce some very special tennis to beat me.

Petra was a semi-finalist at Wimbledon and I can see why. She really goes for her shots and she had an answer for everything I threw at her.

Even though I probably scrambled and defended better than I ever have, I just couldn't find a way to break her down. She was the better player and she deserves her pop against Kim Clijsters in the third round. I'm going to have a day off now and relax and unwind before flying home.

Part of me will be sad to leave New York but I will take a lot away with me - confidence, ranking points, optimism about the future and a brand new pair of Ugg boots

I genuinely believe that this US Open has been another big breakthrough for me, especially as if the other results go my way and I find myself ranked inside the top 50 when the next lot of rankings come out a week on Monday.

I would rather have reached that milestone with a win but like to think my first round victory over Petra Martic - my first main draw win at the US Open - helped get the job done. Irrespective where I end up ranked, the confidence I got from that victory and from my performances here mean that I'll leave New York in a really good frame of mind.

I can feel myself improving all the time and I can't tell you how exciting that is.

After a couple of weeks training at home in Ipswich I will go to tournaments in Korea and Japan before heading to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi as part of Scotland's team there. Apparently we get to wear kilts as our official team uniform and just the thought of that and wearing Scotland across my back when I play gives me goosebumps.

I played for Scotland in a couple of junior competitions, including the junior Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, and I loved everything about the experience. I grew up in Scotland and I feel very patriotic about putting on the national colours so it's fantastic that I get to play for Scotland as a senior player. I can't wait.

Part of me will be sad to leave New York but I will take a lot away with me - confidence, ranking points, optimism about the future and a brand new pair of Ugg boots.

I can always find time for shopping and I intend to do a little bit more of that before this trip is over. Kvitova might have got the better of me on the court, but there's still a lot to celebrate.



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see also
Elena Baltacha column
30 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Baltacha wins opener at US Open
30 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Elena Baltacha column
26 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis


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