Beltacha bows out

TENNIS: Teenage starlet Elena Baltacha tumbled out of Wimbledon despite a brave display against Russian Elena Likhovtseva. The 18-year-old daughter of former Ipswich Town footballer Sergei Baltacha lost 4-6, 6-7 to Likhovtseva ranked 48 in the world, over 200 places above Beltacha.

TENNIS

TEENAGE starlet Elena Baltacha tumbled out of Wimbledon despite a brave display against Russian Elena Likhovtseva.

The 18-year-old daughter of former Ipswich Town footballer Sergei Baltacha lost 4-6, 6-7 to Likhovtseva ranked 48 in the world, over 200 places above Beltacha.

Early match nerves cost Beltacha in the first set after she failed to recover from losing her first service game of the match.


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The last British player in the Wimbledon women's singles soon got into her stride imposing her aggressive style of play on the match but still failed to find the vital break and Likhovtseva held on to take the first set 6-4.

It was Likhovtseva's turn to tighten up at the beginning of the second set allowing Beltacha to race into a 3-0 lead.

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But Likhovtseva broke back in the seventh game of the set to set up a dramatic end to the match. At five games all both girls then lost their serve to take the set into a tie-break.

It was here where Beltacha's brave challenge for Wimbledon glory came to an end with Likhovtseva's extra experiencing helping her to a 7-2 victory in the tie-break to win the match in straight sets.

But the British youngster can be proud of being the last remaining female Briton at Wimbledon for the second year running and at such a tender age she has shown the potential to go on and establish herself to be a possible contender for the title in years to come.

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