Latimer sails past qualifier as Delgado dominates

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Louise Latimer, the British No 1, is safely through to the second round of the National Championships at Telford after a comprehensive 6-2, 6-0 victory over the Yorkshire qualifier Sarah Gregg. The top seed, winner of last week's event in Hull, faces Annabel Blow from Leicestershire in the next round.

Louise Latimer, the British No 1, is safely through to the second round of the National Championships at Telford after a comprehensive 6-2, 6-0 victory over the Yorkshire qualifier Sarah Gregg. The top seed, winner of last week's event in Hull, faces Annabel Blow from Leicestershire in the next round.

The former champion Sam Smith went out 6-4, 6-4 to Elena Baltacha, the Middlesex-based national junior champion. Hannah Collin from Surrey and Julie Pullin, the 1998 winner, are both through to the second round following straight-set wins.

Warwickshire's Jamie Delgado, filling the top-seed slot left vacant by the injured Arvind Parmar, began the defence of his national men's title by comfortably defeating Norfolk's Tom Spinks 6-2, 6-4 in the opening round. Delgado, who faces fellow Davis Cup player Luke Milligan next, is on track for a repeat of last year's final with Barry Cowan on Sunday. Cowan, the second seed from Lancashire, overcame a strong challenge from Jim May to eventually overcome the Kent qualifier 7-6, 7-5.

Scotland's Miles Maclagan and Cambridgeshire's Justin Layne, the respective fourth and eighth seeds, both made early exits to qualifiers. Maclagan lost 7-5, 6-2 to the Norfolk teenager Richard Bloomfield, while Layne went out 7-6, 6-3 to Surrey's Stuart Rhodes.

In Lyon, the Dutch qualifier Raemon Sluiter beat the fourth-seeded Alex Corretja 6-4, 7-6 in the first round yesterday to undermine the Spaniard's chances of qualifying for the season-ending Masters Cup in Lisbon later this month.

However, Corretja refused to be downcast. "Qualifying for the Masters is not an obsession for me," he said. "I've already won it, in 1998. If I make it I'll go, if not I'll concentrate on preparing for Spain's Davis Cup final against Australia which is more important for me this year."

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