Baltacha slides out but hopes to crash the top 50

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The Independent Online

Elena Baltacha's first appearance in the main draw of the US Open ended with a 7-6, 6-3 defeat to Petra Kvitova, but the 27-year-old Scot left Flushing Meadows hoping that she may have done enough to earn a place in the world's top 50. The ranking points earned from her first-round win over Petra Martic may just be enough to see the world No 57 past the next milestone in her late-blossoming career.

"I really believe that I am a top 50 player," Baltacha said after losing to Kvitova, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals this summer. "I know that I'll have to improve, but I think I'm on my way now."

There was little to choose between Baltacha and Kvitova, who won the tie-break 7-5 after a tightly contested first set. However, the Czech's big groundstrokes put increasing pressure on Baltacha, who defended well but eventually buckled under the weight of Kvitova's returns of serve.

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