Britain's Anne Keothavong thrashed at Wimbledon

 

Anne Keothavong claimed it was unfair to compare her performance to
Heather Watson's heroics after making a tame second-round exit from Wimbledon at the hands of Sara Errani.

Italian Errani is the 10th seed and fresh from reaching the final at the French Open, but the 6-1 6-1 scoreline was still a major disappointment, particularly after Watson's success yesterday.

The 20-year-old, who is now close to overtaking Keothavong as British number one, beat America's Jamie Hampton to become the first home player in 10 years to reached the third round.

Keothavong said: "Heather played a great match yesterday. But she played Jamie Hampton, my opponent was Sara Errani. It was slightly different.

"I'm disappointed with my own performance because I know I can play better. I didn't challenge her today as much as I would have liked. And to lose in that fashion, it's not particularly pleasing.

"I just forced it a bit too much. She didn't hit me off the court or anything like that. She was putting the ball in deep, she played some great drop shots. I managed to just hit myself off the court, I guess."

Keothavong, ranked 77th, started very slowly, losing the first four games, and, although she performed slightly better in the second set, it was still one-sided.

At 28, the Londoner is in the autumn of her career, but she has no plans to hang up her tennis racquet any time soon.

Keothavong said: "I have been around for a while but there are girls older than me who are still out there winning slams and doing really well.

"I still enjoy what I'm doing and I still feel like I can improve. Today's performance wasn't very good, and I know that. But I also know it's just one match this year. I know I'm capable of playing better tennis.

"That keeps me motivated. As long as I'm still enjoying it and as long as I'm fit and healthy, there are worse ways to make a living."

And a significant silver lining to today's loss is that Keothavong will be back at the All England Club in a month's time after being given a wild card for the women's singles at the Olympics.

"That's the one thing that puts a smile on my face," said the Hackney girl, who will head off to the United States to play tournaments in Stanford and San Diego before returning to the UK.

"Every time I think of the Olympics, I'm just over the moon about the selection. It's great that all four of us British girls [Keothavong, Elena Baltacha, Watson and Laura Robson] have a chance to be part of the team.

"I have never been part of an Olympic team before. It's something new, it's something special. And the fact that it's in London, I'm super pumped about it."

PA

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