Anne Keothavong Olympic hopes dealt blow with French Open defeat

 

Anne Keothavong's hopes of representing Great Britain at the Olympics were dealt a blow as she was knocked out of the French Open in the first round by Hungary's Melinda Czink.

Victory would have ensured Keothavong the British number one spot ahead of Elena Baltacha, which, with one wild card for the women's singles at the Games expected to be given to a home player, could be crucial.

The 28-year-old grew up in the Olympic borough of Hackney and has made no secret of her desire to play in the Games, but she was well below her best today and crashed out 6-1 6-2.

Clay is certainly not Keothavong's favourite surface and she has never won a main-draw match at Roland Garros, but she will have been hugely disappointed with her performance in the first set in particular.

It was an error-strewn display against a player ranked 35 places lower at 116th in the world, and she lost the first five games before finally getting on the board.

Keothavong looked fired up at the start of the second set and began brightly, but she was broken again in the third game and then to go 5-2 behind.

She could not even manage a point in the final game, Czink securing a very straightforward victory when Keothavong blazed a backhand wide.

The result means Heather Watson, who beat Elena Vesnina in fine style earlier, was the only one of four British players to make the second round, with Baltacha and Laura Robson also falling at the first hurdle.

PA

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