Naomi Cavaday pulled off the best victory of her fledgling career to reach the third round of the Aegon Classic here yesterday. Cavaday, a 20-year-old wild-card entry from Kent, gained a 7-6, 2-6, 6-4 second-round win over the experienced Tamarine Tanasugarn, a player 12 years her senior and 250 places higher in the world rankings.
Cavaday's victory over the 12th seed from Thailand, who was a Wimbledon quarter-finalist last year, helped to make up for the exit of British No 1 Anne Keothavong on the third day of the Wimbledon warm-up tournament. There were nine breaks of serve in a fluctuating match that finally swung the Briton's way when she broke her opponent in the seventh game of the deciding set and served out for victory.
"It was definitely a tough one," Cavaday said. "She has a great record on grass and has a great record full stop. The biggest thing today was my belief. That's what got me through during the tough times in the match."
The British No 6 will now play Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele, last week's runner-up at the Aegon Trophy in Nottingham, for a place in the quarter-finals. Keothavong, the 25-year-old world No 49 who put out Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson in the first round to gain her first victory at Edgbaston for five years, was beaten 6-1, 7-6 by India's Sania Mirza.