Anne Keothavong rues missed opportunity after crashing out

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The Independent Online

Anne Keothavong was left to reflect on what might have been tonight after narrowly failing to reach the third round of a grand slam for the second time in her career.

The 27-year-old started well but ran out of steam against 30th seed Andrea Petkovic, eventually going down 2-6 7-5 6-0 in round two of the Australian Open.

Defeat was hard on Keothavong who made her higher-ranked opponent look distinctly ordinary for a set and a half before Petkovic finally found her range.

And afterwards the Londoner admitted it was disappointing not have taken the opportunity when it presented itself.

"No doubt I had my chances in this match. For a set and a half I definitely felt I was playing some good tennis," she said.

"I really did what I intended to do out there and took my game to her and was hitting out a bit more.

"But it got close and I felt like I had to win that match in two sets.

"I've played Andrea before. When she's got a bit of momentum and confidence she's a tough player to pin down."

Keothavong felt her chances of victory evaporated when she allowed the German to escape from a tricky situation at 5-5 in the second set having won the first courtesy of a break in the fifth game.

"I think that was a clear turning point. I got myself back from 5-3 down to 5-5, and at 15-30 she just kicked a serve in and I kind of hit a nothing return. It just went into the bottom of the net," she added.

"Had I hit out like I was doing in the first set, who knows what could have happened. But I'm human; I got a little bit tight. The opportunity was there, I just didn't take it today."

And although Petkovic then ran away with the decider, Keothavong can still look back on a good few days in Melbourne after coming through qualifying before beating Arina Rodionova in round one.

"2011 is a fresh year for me. And I can definitely take a lot positives from this tournament," she said.

"I feel good. Like I said before, the main thing this year is to stay in good shape and be as injury-free as possible."