Baltacha comes back to earth

TENNIS: Elena Baltacha, who hit the headlines by reaching the third round at Wimbledon last week, steps back down to the obscurity of the $25,000 level at Felixstowe today.

TENNIS

ELENA Baltacha, who hit the headlines by reaching the third round at Wimbledon last week, steps back down to the obscurity of the $25,000 level at Felixstowe today.

Her victories over Maria Vento-Kabchi and Amanda Coetzer saw her move into the world's top 200 for the first time and she is just a few points away from taking Lucie Ahl's British number two spot.

Baltacha is seeded sixth at the grass court event and faces unseeded Manisha Malhotra from India in the opening round. If she makes it to the quarter finals stage she is seeded for a quarter-final showdown with Ahl, from Devon, later in the week.

Baltacha, daughter of former Ipswich Town player, Sergei, improved in the rankings from 295 to 199 and also climbed two rungs on the domestic ladder to become the third best player in the country. Her previous highest ranking was No. 221 last June and she had lost four months of her schedule from November due to chicken pox, food poisoning and tonsillitis.

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