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Baltacha books place in second round

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:14

Having seen Anne Keothavong, Melanie South and Katie O’Brien bow out in the first round on Monday, the British number three came out of the blocks firing.

In sweltering conditions at Melbourne Park, Baltacha raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening set as she broke Groenefeld then held off three break points herself to gain the upper hand.

The German, ranked 71 in the world, 63 places above Baltacha, looked anything but and after holding her serve to love in the fifth game Baltacha broke Groenefeld again before serving out the set.

The roles were reversed in the second set however, with the German getting an early jump on the British 25-year-old, who reached the third round in Melbourne in 2005.

But having fallen behind 3-0 Baltacha dug deep to hold two services games before converting another break point on the German’s serve to trail 4-3 with her own serve to come.

She held that comfortably then got her deserved breakthrough to lead 5-4 and although the German managed to save two match points in the final game it was not enough to deny the Brit who will now face 2006 champion Amelie Mauresmo after she overcame Olga Govortsova 6-4 6-3.

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