Young Canadian slows Rusedski's preparations for Wimbledon

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The Independent Online

Greg Rusedski set his sights on a much more impressive performance in the Stella Artois Championship at Queen's Club, London, next week, after being outplayed by the Canadian teenager Frank Dancevic in the quarter-finals of the Surbiton Trophy. The 30-year-old admitted that "it has been harder to come back than I thought".

Greg Rusedski set his sights on a much more impressive performance in the Stella Artois Championship at Queen's Club, London, next week, after being outplayed by the Canadian teenager Frank Dancevic in the quarter-finals of the Surbiton Trophy. The 30-year-old admitted that "it has been harder to come back than I thought".

The British No 2 had earned two satisfying victories on the Surrey grass and gained some valuable match-practice this week after suffering a string of four defeats since being cleared of a drugs charge in March. But Dancevic, 19, from Niagara Falls, proved too sharp for his Montreal-born rival and, after a brief rain-interruption, raced through to the semi-finals, 6-4, 7-6.

"To be honest I thought I played better than in my two previous matches against Hyung-Taik Lee and Todd Reid," Rusedski said. "But I paid for one distinctly average service game in the first set when I had a double fault and missed two easy volleys and it was just a matter of a few points here and there in the second. I need to be able to raise my level in those situations.

"It is harder than I thought coming back and I'm not as young as I used to be. But I still feel pretty good and I'm looking forward to Queen's where some of the greatest champions regularly enter.

"Depending on how I do there, I might also enter Nottingham the week after if I feel I need more matches ahead of Wimbledon, provided they will hold a wild card for me."

Now just below the world's top 100 - with Dancevic at 188 - Rusedski clearly still needs to work on his fitness after an injury-affected career.

Dancevic, who has already put out the eighth seed Jan Vacek, of the Czech Republic, now meets Wesley Moodie, the Surbiton title-holder, for a place in the final tomorrow after the South African edged past the former Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson in an absorbing three-set tie.

In the women's event, the second seed Akiko Morigami, of Japan, must deal with the Russian teenager Anna Chakvetadze in today's final after last year's Wimbledon junior finalist swamped the Puerto Rican Vilmarie Castellvi, 6-2, 6-0.

Morigami saw off South Korea's Yoon-Jeong Cho, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, in a much tighter contest.

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