Milligan marathon wins entry into Wimbledon

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The Independent Online

Luke Milligan recovered from two sets down to beat Michael Kohlmann, of Germany, 5-7, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-3, in the third qualifying round at Roehampton yesterday to win a place in the main draw at Wimbledon.

The Middlesex player is the only Briton to gain entry into the Championships from the eight home hopefuls who started the tournament on Monday. His display was a gutsy one as he as recovered his serving accuracy in the third set, just when he needed it. He took a 3-0 lead in the deciding set, which he defended stoutly, saving a break-back point with an ace as he served out the match, finally clinching it with two more aces.

"I was nervous to begin with but then relaxed as I realised that in a five-set match I had nothing to lose and started playing like I had during the previous two matches," Milligan said.

Todd Woodbridge had earlier swept through his final qualifying round in 50 minutes, beating Johan Ortegren, of Sweden, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0. The Australian said his game had been near perfect against an opponent who was uncomfortable on the surface.

While the men's qualifiers have been decided, the women still have one round to play. Only one Briton has so far survived, Karen Cross overpowering the Venezuelan Milagros Sequera 6-1, 6-0 yesterday.

The rest of the home contingent ­ Jane O'Donoghue, Amanda Janes, Helen Crook, Cristelle Grier and Rachel Viollet ­ all went out in straight sets.

* In s' Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, the French Open runner-up Kim Clijsters opened her grass- court campaign yesterday by beating the South African Joannette Kruger 6-3, 6-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the Heineken Trophy.

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