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Keothavong crashes out

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:29

Keothavong, who was earlier drawn against world number one Dinara Safina in the first round of the French Open, became the first British woman to reach the last four of a WTA clay-court event for 26 years after beating qualifier Ioana Raluca Olaru on Thursday.

But Bondarenko, who defeated former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova in her quarter-final, was always likely to pose the British number one more problems and she struggled to contain her opponent as the Ukrainian swept into a 5-1 lead in the first set. A rain break gave Keothavong a brief respite but it was not to last as Bondarenko dug deep to secure her place in the final.

Things started going wrong for the British number one in the third game when she slumped to 0-40 on her own serve to give Bondarenko three break points.

The Ukrainian took the third of them and having seized the initiative, moved 3-1 and then 4-1 ahead after breaking Keothavong once again.

Bondarenko had just taken her own service game to love to when the heavens opened, bringing play to a temporary close and Keothavong a chance to recover her form.

After taking the first set upon the resumption of play Bondarenko went about trying to finish off her opponent.

The Briton put up more of a fight in the second set, however, but ultimately was found wanting as Bondarenko went through to face Alexandra Dulgheru. The Romanian teenager defeated Daniela Hantuchova 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 6-1 in Friday’s other semi-final.

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