Keothavong drawn to face world No 1

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The Independent Online

Anne Keothavong lost her third semi-final of the year yesterday, going down 6-2, 7-5 to the Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko at the Warsaw Open, but as she headed for the French Open the British No 1 was focusing on an even greater challenge. In the first round here she will play Russia's Dinara Safina, the world No 1 and last year's runner-up.

Keothavong's improved ranking as the world No 56 earned her a place in the main draw for the first time after five failures to qualify. ''It's definitely a tough draw but I've got nothing to lose,'' she said.

''I can go out there and take a bit of confidence from my performances this week and give it my best shot. It'll be on one of the big courts so I can just go out there and enjoy it.''

Bondarenko dropped only four games against Russian former world No 1 Maria Sharapova in her previous match but was made to fight particularly hard in the second set. ''It wasn't one of my best matches but Alona's a tough opponent,'' Keothavong (left) said.

With Mel South drawn against a qualifier, there are two British women in the main field for the first time for 17 years, although Katie O'Brien and Elena Baltacha were both beaten in the final round of qualifying yesterday. O'Brien went down 6-4, 7-6 to the Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus, despite having twice served for the second set and had a set point, while Baltacha lost 6-2, 6-2 to Yaroslava Shvedova, of Kazakhstan.

*Wimbledon will build a new 2,000-seat No 3 Court, on the site of the old No 2 Court, in time for the 2011 Championships. The All England Club has raised £59.5m from an issue of 2,500 five-year Centre Court debentures, each costing £27,750.