Elena Baltacha had two reasons to celebrate yesterday after sealing both a battling first round win at Wimbledon and a place on Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The 28-year-old (pictured above) beat Italy’s Karin Knapp 4-6 6-4 6-0 to reach the second round of Wimbledon and find that she had also been given a place in the Olympic tennis event, which is due to be held at Wimbledon from July 28. The place was awarded by the International Tennis Federation, which runs tennis at the Olympic Games.
Speaking about her place at the Olympics, Baltacha said: “I am a very, very happy girl right now. I was very, very emotional at the end, especially with Judy [Murray, GB Fed Cup captain]. She told me that I got the wildcard for the Olympics. It was just amazing news.
“I just can’t explain to you how amazing it feels. Everything has just been so, so worth it. I’m really honored and privileged that I have been given that chance.”
Anne Keothavong also progressed into the Wimbledon second round yesterday after success in her opening round match. In just under one hour and 25 minutes Keothavong sealed a 6-3, 6-3 win and will be up against either play Coco Vandeweghe of America or Italian tenth seed Sara Errani in round two.
Elsewhere Heather Watson made it into round two of the women’s singles after an impressive 6-2, 6-1 win over Iveta Benesova on Centre Court on Monday evening. Making her debut on the main show court, the 20-year-old blasted her way through her Czech opponent in an hour and a half to set up a round two meeting with Jamie Hampton of USA later today.
Unfortunately it was a different story for Laura Robson who was defeated by Francesca Schiavone after a three set battle in round one of the women’s singles.
The Italian former French Open champion recovered from a slow start to beat the British 18-year-old 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Court 3.
The Women’s Sports Magazine
Photo credit: Christine Walsh/The Emilia Group