Baltacha’s blown away

Ekaterina Makarova, WTA Players
elena-baltachaElena Baltacha, the world no200, looked out-of-sorts with a tame 6-3 6-0 defeat to former Eastbourne champion Ekatrina Makarova in the opening round of the 2013 French Open.

The ex-British no1, who returned to the WTA Tour following an eight-month layoff following ankle surgery after competing in the 2012 Olympic Games, will warm-up for a shot at making the main draw at Eastbourne by competing in a couple of second tier grass court tournaments.The 29-year-old only made the main draw at Roland Garros courtesy of a protected ranking due to her lengthy injury layoff, but was totally outclassed by the gritty New Zealander in just under an hour.

Baltacha explained: “I actually retired after the Olympics. I kept it to myself but I knew I was going through the motions, I just fell out of love with tennis.

“But the things I really hated about it are the things I really missed, it was really bizarre and I realised how much I love tennis. The biggest thing I missed was the one-on-one competition.

“My world ranking hasn’t really fallen that much, but I’ve got points to defend – and July would be the last points I have to defend. I know I have to be patient and going to be in qualifying a lot on tour, but I’m happy as long as I keep improving.”

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