Wimbledon 2014: Tara Moore misses chance of glory as Vera Zvonareva rallies to win epic tie

 

wimbledon

Oh Tara, so close and yet … (yes, you can fill in the rest yourselves). This is Wimbledon and Tara Moore is British, so a first-round exit complete with the heroically maddening denouement conforms absolutely to convention, and a little, perhaps, to the wholehearted template set by her mentor, the late Elena Baltacha.

Twice Moore served for the match in the deciding set, failing to convert on each occasion. Then up she stepped to level at seven a piece to stay in it. In the end the set and the match went to Vera Zvonareva in the 16th game, clothing No 2 Court in that oh-so-familiar cloud of disappointment.

There is no shame going down 9-7 in the last to a former world No 2 and the 21-year-old from Doncaster played a full part in a disrupted encounter epic in all its ebbs and flaws. After fighting back to level in the second-set tiebreak the night before, Moore carried that momentum forward to break serve immediately.

The importance of the early incursion could be measured in the number of simulated uppercuts she threw, followed by the obligatory "Come on". She is an inveterate slugger of thin air. There was a double benefit here since each punch was sponsored, raising money for the Rally for Bally charity. "I think we are at £300 so far," she said.

Moore is a tiger about the court. She was feeding off the occasion and was simply inspired, saving a break point in the sixth game with the shot of the day, a rasping forehand that took the paint off the baseline.

She had two break points to lead 5-2 and ease all our nerves. The yearning was huge, but she would have to do it the hard way, and so it was that fate invited her to serve for the match not once, but twice.

Effectively, Moore ran into the deep well of experience and pedigree available to Zvonareva. After falling short in her first shot at glory, Moore broke to love to engineer another crack at the match on serve.

It was not to be. Zvonareva has twice contested Grand Slam finals, her first coming here four years ago. Her ranking at 566 reflects the 12 months lost to injury last year, not her talent. "She played good on the big points. She didn't give me anything. She made me work for everything. But she had to try very hard to beat me. She was No 2 in the world and I pushed her to her limits," Moore said.

"I was nervous out there obviously, playing on a really big court. I am so grateful for the opportunity the All England Club have given me. I hope that I've really showed them that I wanted to be there."

The debate about British failure to produce players in sufficient numbers took an aggressive twist with the observation of an outgoing LTA coach that our youngsters have it too easy.

Julien Hoferlin, the Belgian coach now working with the British No 2, Dan Evans, who lost in the first round to Andrey Kuznetzov, said: "The transition between the juniors and the seniors seems to be very, very bad. There's not an exceptional 'tennis culture' at club level and the players are too spoilt."

Of Evans in particular, Hoferlin said: "He has the potential to make himself a top-60 player, but he makes no sacrifices for his sport. He doesn't understand that tennis has to be his priority. For him, it's just a brief interlude in his life."

Britwatch: State of the nation

Men's singles

In

A Murray bt B Rola (Sloven) 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 in second round

Out

D Cox lost to J Chardy (Fr) 6-2, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 in first round

K Edmund lost to A Haider-Maurer (Aut) 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 in first round

D Evans lost to A Kuznetsov (Rus) 6-1, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 in first round

J Ward lost to M Youzhny (Rus) 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in first round

D Smethurst lost to J Isner (US) 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in first round

Women's singles

In

H Watson plays A Kerber (Ger) in second round

Out

N Broady lost to C Wozniacki (Den) 6-3, 6-2, in second round

T Moore lost to V Zvonareva (Rus) 6-4, 6-7, 9-7 in first round

J Konta lost to S Peng (China) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in first round

S Murray lost to M Sharapova (Rus) 6-1 6-0 in first round

PROMOTED VIDEO
Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible