Keothavong hoping for clay success


Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:32

British No.1 Anne Keothavong will kick-start her clay court season at the Gran Prix de Sar La Princesse Lalla Meryem which begins in Fes, Morocco, on Monday April 27.

The 25-year-old begins her campaign at the $220,000 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event against world No.110 Maret Ani, from Estonia, in round one.

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Keothavong and Ani are in the top quarter of the 32-player draw with the winner earning a potential meeting with fifth seed Sorana Cirstea from Romania in the second round.

‘Shell be a tough opponent on clay’

The other big name in that section is Spains top seed Anabel Medina Garrigues. Russian players dominate the top end of the seedings Alisa Kleybanova is second seed, Anastasia Pavyluchenkova is third seed and fourth seed is Maria Kirilenko.

World No.54 Keothavong and 27-year-old Ani have played once, although that contest, back in 2007, wasnt completed with the Briton withdrawing through injury midway through the second set.

The Estonian is capable of playing good tennis on clay as she has already shown this year she won a round at the WTA Tour event in Bogota and made the last eight in Acapulco a week later.

Ani arrives in Fes on a high after helping Estonia beat Israel in the Fed Cup over the weekend. She lost both singles but teamed up with Kaia Kanepi to win the deciding doubles against Shahar Peer and Tzipi Obziler 8-6 in the third set to earn her nation a 3-2 victory.

“Shell be a tough opponent on clay as Im sure its her favourite surface,” Keothavong said. “Weve only played against each other once before which was a few years ago but I had to retire in that match because of a back injury.”

Keothavong is in action in the doubles on Monday when she and Hungarys Melinda Czink take on local wild cards Lina Bennani and Nadia Lalami in the second match on Centre Court after an 11am start local time.

Check out the singles draw


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.