Safina is too good for Baltacha

IPSWICH'S Elena Baltacha's run at the Australian Open ended overnight at the hands of Russian number two seed Dinara Safina.

IPSWICH'S Elena Baltacha's run at the Australian Open ended overnight at the hands of Russian number two seed Dinara Safina.

The British number one lost 6-1 6-2 at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.

The 26-year-old Baltacha, daughter of former Ipswich Town player Sergei Baltacha, reached a career-high ranking of 83 last week and that is set to climb after her expolits in Melbourne, which included a second-round win over 30th seed Kateryna Bondarenko.

Baltacha, who returned to Ipswich last year to train with fitness coach Nino Severino, said: "It was difficult. It was a great experience for me to play the world number two.


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"All credit to Safina I think she played really well today. I think overall it was a little bit disappointing because I would have liked to have played a little better.

"I did under-perform. I didn't show her the tennis I know I can play.'

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"I've got to look on it in a very positive way - I've made the third round this week and I earned my place on Rod Laver today to play Safina. I'm proud of that.

"The start of the year has been fantastic. It's a complete and utter positive, it's just the start of 2010 and I've got the rest of the year to build on it and get better.'

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