Tennis: Smith overpowered by Brandi

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The Independent Online
SAM SMITH fell at the first hurdle of the DFS Classic in Birmingham yesterday. The The British No 1 had high hopes of a good show in the competition where 12 months ago she reached the third round and later reached the third round of Wimbledon, beating Conchita Martinez on the way.

Yesterday, however, the 27-year-old from Essex was overpowered by the American Kristina Brandi.

It marked a disappointing day for the Birmingham crowd, who had earlier seen another British hope, Jo Ward of Tyneside, lose in two sets. The impressive 22-year-old Brandi took advantage of early errors from Smith, breaking her serve in the opening game. The first three games went against serve before the American claim the first set 6-2 and the second 6-3 as Smith's game was strewn with unforced errors.

Ward had earlier also gone out in straight sets to Belgium's Sabine Appelmans. The British No 4, a wild card entry from South Shields, could not match her more experienced opponent and lost eight of the last 10 games.