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Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Monday, 17 January 2011

Australian Open: Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong win

Australian Open, Melbourne
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 17-30 January
Coverage: Watch on BBC TV, Red Button and BBC Sport website; listen on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online; text commentary online; full details


Baltacha excited about facing Henin

British number one Elena Balatcha will face seven-time major winner Justine Henin after a 3-6 6-4 7-5 win over Jamie Hampton at the Australian Open.

Baltacha, 27, who reached the third round last year, beat the American qualifier in two hours 27 minutes.

Londoner Anne Keothavong also made the second round with a 7-5 6-4 win over Russia's Arina Rodionova.

Keothavong, whose victory was her first in the tournament's main draw, will now face the 30th seed Andrea Petkovic.

It is the second successive year that Britain has had two representatives in the second round after Baltacha and Katie O'Brien made the last 64 of the tournament 12 months ago.

In 2010 Baltacha upset Kateryna Bondarenko, who was seeded 30th, in straight sets in the second round, but it would represent the biggest win of her career if she manages to oust the 2004 Australian Open champion Henin.


"I think I've got to believe that I've got a chance [against Henin], because otherwise there's no point playing," she said.

"The chances are probably slim. But on the match day, I'm going to go out and I'm going to fire. I've got nothing to lose at all."

She may take heart from the fact that India's Sania Mirza took the first set against Henin before the Belgian recovered for a 5-7 6-3 6-1 first-round victory, but Baltacha had her own problems against the 21-year-old Hampton.

The world number 55 Baltacha, who was knocked out of the last 16 in Hobart by Italy's Roberta Vinci before flying to Melbourne, had to claw her way back into the contest after losing the opening set to a player ranked 77 places below her.

"She just came out like firing. It was just like ridiculous. But I remember as a qualifier, you know, you've earned your spot," commented Baltacha.

"You're flying high on confidence. You've got nothing to lose. She went out there and she played loose."

Keothavong, who lost to Rodionova's older sister Anastasia in the first round at Wimbledon in 2010, earned five service breaks, three of them in the opening set.

"I actually feel like I could have hit out a bit more. It was quite tense out there," Keothavong stated.

"If I don't hit out against Andrea Petkovic I've got no chance. I feel like I'm moving well. My body is in one piece, which is the main thing. I just want to go out there and give it the best I've got."

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see also
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Federer breezes into second round
17 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Wozniacki wins Melbourne opener
17 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Elena Baltacha column
16 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Baltacha in the dark about opponent
16 Jan 11 |  Scotland
Mental strength gives Murray hope
17 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Nadal & Federer eye Aussie battle
16 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Keothavong nears Aussie Open spot
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Murray opens with Melbourne win
18 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Sport rallies round flood victims
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Injured Robson out of Aussie Open
09 Jan 11 |  Tennis

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