Cavaday exit signals end of British challenge in juniors

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The Independent Online

British junior champions are even scarcer at Wimbledon than their senior counterparts - and the All England Club is going to have to wait at least another year to embrace a young winner of its own following yesterday's exit of the sole remaining home representative, Naomi Cavaday.

The last Brit to win a junior title here was Annabel Croft back in 1984. No British boy has lifted the trophy since Stanley Matthews Jnr proved in 1962 that it was possible to achieve success despite having a famous father.

There was, admittedly, a sharp rise in expectation two years ago when Miles Kasiri reached the final, only to be beaten by Gaël Monfils. But while the Frenchman has established himself in the senior ranks, Kasiri has dropped out of the top 800.

No such difficulties appear to appertain, however, to the 17-year-old Cavaday, who had already made an honourable contribution by taking the seniors' 18th seed Ai Sugiyama to 6-4, 7-5 in their first-round meeting.But after overpowering a series of juniors she met, in Urszula Radwanska, a player of sterner stuff and the 17-year-old Pole out-rallied her to earn a 6-3, 6-2 victory.

Although Cavaday failed to equal the best recent performance by British girls - Anne Keothavong and Elena Baltacha both made the semi-finals in 2001 - her performance here should secure a place in the main junior draw at the US Open.

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