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Baltacha hails ‘best win’

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:36

The British number two came from a set down in fast-fading light to claim a 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory over world number 33 Alona Bondarenko to spare any further blushes on an otherwise embarrassing day for home players.

“I’d say this is my best win at Wimbledon,” she said.

Half an hour into the match, which did not go on Court One until after 7pm, it looked as though Britain’s Wimbledon fortunes had slumped to an all-time low with the worst ever showing by home players in the Open era going back more than 40 years.

Anne Keothavong, the top British woman, failed to win a set and there were also defeats yesterday for Georgie Stoop, Katie O’Brien, Alex Bogdanovic, Joshua Goodall and Dan Evans, while Mel South, Laura Robson and James Ward all crashed out on the opening day.

That leaves only Andy Murray and the 25-year-old Baltacha, who will cherish her fifth win at Wimbledon, where she famously beat South African Amanda Coetzer in 2002 to reach the third round.

“When I beat Coetzer, she was probably on her way out. I think she pretty much retired that year or the next year,” she added.

“But definitely Alona is on good form. She made the finals of Warsaw. It’s a very big win for me.

“Now I’m top hundred, I know that. Obviously when the points come off, then I’ll probably drop out. But it was a very important match for me because I knew that if I won, it was probably main draw of the US.”

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