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Keothavong ousted by Safarova

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:23

Keothavong was outplayed in the first set before bouncing back to go a break up in the second.

But after failing to serve out for the set in the 10th game the momentum swung decisively against the 25-year-old, who could not prevent the Czech – who at 48th is ranked three places above her – from sealing victory in Florida.

The Londoner started brightly and took her 22-year-old opponent to deuce in the third game of the match, although she was unable to turn the half-chance into an actual break.

Keothavong showed fighting spirit to stave off three break points in game six as Safarova began to take charge, and she had to see off a fourth before levelling once more at 4-4 with a timely ace.

The Hackney-born player could not hold off her opponent for a fifth time, though, and she finally got the break her domination deserved to take an attritional opening set 6-4.

Britain’s number one refused to cave in and forced her first break points of the match in the third game of the second set – and although she was unable to capitalise on that occasion, she finally found the break in game five.

That was clawed back by Safarova in the 10th, however, and the former Australian Open quarter-finalist completed the turnaround to seize the all-important break in game 12 and win the second 7-5.

Safarova will now face 18th seed Patty Schnyder in round two.

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