Tennis: Pate falls over Beecher

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The Independent Online
COLIN BEECHER produced the performance of his life to beat the American David Pate in the opening round of the Wimbledon qualifying tournament at Roehampton yesterday.

Beecher, 22, ranked 13th in Britain, but a humble 724 in the world, lifted his game to win 6-4, 6-3. Pate, once ranked 18th, was the world's No 1 doubles player only two years ago.

Beecher said his pounds 1,525 for a place in the second round would be just as vital to him as the victory. 'I need this sort of money to keep me going and it could not have come at a better time for me. Now I feel I have a good opportunity of going through. My next opponent, Dirk Dier of Germany, is definitely beatable.'

Other British hopefuls - Tim Henman, Paul Hand and Laurence Matthews - joined Beecher in the second round but 16-year-old Jamie Delgado lost 7-6, 6-7, 6-2 to Alex Calatrava of Spain. Lucie Ahl and Valda Lake and Emily Bondwon through to the second round of the women's singles.

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