Net Gains: Baltacha wants crack at big time – then she's off to have babies

Elena Baltacha, who will be 27 in August, is playing the best tennis of her life but the British No 1 is thinking ahead to the end of her career. "The goal I've set is to make it to the Olympics and then stop," she said here last week. "I'll be 29 then. I want to have kids, but I don't want to have them too late. I've been through so much in my career. I've been playing since I was 10. That's 17 years. I like to set goals, make plans." Baltacha's career has been dogged by illness and injury, but a new fitness and training regime has helped her climb to No 62 in the world rankings. Baltacha played in the French Open for the first time last week and is looking forward to competing on her favourite surface over the next month. Nottingham, Edgbaston, Eastbourne and Wimbledon are all on her agenda. The Briton wants to reach the world's top 50, though she has one other big ambition left. "I would really love to do something massive in a Grand Slam. Obviously Wimbledon would be amazing. If you get on a good run, anything can happen. You've seen players who have made semis in Grand Slams and people have said: 'How is that possible?' It would be nice to think that could be me."

Murray makes a racket

You know you have made it at the French Open when you are invited to take part in the karaoke video that the host broadcasters make each year. Andy Murray was one of this year's star turns, performing "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5. "The singing was OK but the dancing was rubbish," Murray said. "I was saying I should have done it again. I wasn't that happy with it but it was fun." Decide for yourself by watching his efforts on YouTube.

Scheepers' short story

One news agency here reported that Chanelle Scheepers, the first South African woman to reach the third round at Roland Garros since Amanda Coetzer, "looked up to" the 1997 semi-finalist. Seeing as Coetzer was just 5ft 2in tall and Scheepers stands at 5ft 9in that must have been quite an achievement. Coetzer never lost in 12 first-round appearances at Wimbledon. "One of the reasons I'm good on grass is because I'm closer to it," she once told a reporter.

That's just Bog standard

Alex Bogdanovic should take heart. The Frenchman Nicolas Mahut finally won a singles match at his home Grand Slam tournament last week at the eighth attempt. If Bogdanovic plays at Wimbledon next month – he will need to qualify or receive a wild card – the British No 2 will be aiming to register his first win in nine visits to the All England Club. Bogdanovic currently shares the record for successive Wimbledon defeats with the Chilean Patricio Cornejo, who lost eight first-round matches between 1968 and 1976. Cornejo also features in the record books for one of the longest doubles matches in history, having partnered Jaime Fillol to a 7-9, 37-39, 8-6, 6-1, 6-3 Davis Cup defeat against Stan Smith and Erik van Dillen in 1973.

p.newman@independent.co.uk

Suggested Topics
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before