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Baltacha blinder: Brit ousts Schiavone

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Originally published on: 30/07/10 10:15

Britain’s Elena Baltacha caused the shock of the tournament at the Istanbul Cup, brushing aside French Open champ Francesca Schiavone in straight sets.

The Scot, who has twice beaten Na Li in 2010, defeated world No.8 Schiavone 6-4 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals in Turkey and claim her third top 10 scalp of the year.

“I’m really proud of today,” said the world no.59, who, after becoming the first Brit to knock over a player from the elite pack in over a decade, has now achieved the feat three times in a year. “I’d like to think this is the real Elena Baltacha.

“I’m beginning to perform much more consistently, and I’m improving a lot,” she added. “I still have a few things to work on but I feel every week I’m adding a lot of positives.”

Though tested by Turkish wild-card Cagla Buyukakcay in her opening round match, Baltacha stepped her performance up a gear against 30-year-old Schiavone – the top seed in Istanbul.

And Baltacha believes her win is due in part to the intense bout of training she put in after her first round defeat to Petra Martic at Wimbledon.

“In the three weeks off after Wimbledon, one of the things I worked on with my coach was trying to expose my opponent then run around and finish with a forehand,” Baltacha said. “It’s really paying off. I’m confident I can hit a big forehand when the situation comes up. I’m delighted with how I’m playing.”

Schiavone, who has recorded just one match win to three losses since her surprise French Open triumph in June, was gracious in defeat.

“She served very well and played well at the most important moments,” she said. “I didn’t play so well so I’m a little bit upset, but it can happen. I want to think positive and not create big problems because of one match.

“I have to keep going to work and finding the energy to go on the court ready to fight. Maybe today I wasn’t ready to compete at a good level.”

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