Baltacha beaten on return

  • Last Updated: April 11 2013, 7:26 BST

Former British number one Elena Baltacha was beaten in her first match for more than eight months on Wednesday.

Elena Baltacha: Lost in round one in Pelham

Baltacha was forced to quit her clash with Canada's Sharon Fichman in Pelham, Alabama, when trailing 5-7 6-4 5-1. It is not believed the reason for her retirement was a recurrence of the foot problem which kept her out of the game for so long.

Instead, the 29-year-old, who had led by a set and a break, admitted afterwards that he body had simply "conked out" and began cramping in what was her first outing since last year's Olympics.

Baltacha underwent foot surgery to clear up a long-standing injury after that but, having flirted with retirement, is now back, initially competing on the ITF circuit.

Baltacha write on her Twitter feed after the match: "Had my opportunities, nearly had her, but unfortunately the body conked out! Loved every second of it though. So happy to be back."

Despite her lack of competitive action, Baltacha was this week named in Great Britain's Fed Cup squad for next week's play-off tie in Argentina.

Since her injury she has slipped outside the world's top 200 and is now Britain's number six.

GB's Fed Cup quartet have little form going into that clash.

Johanna Konta was also in action at the claycourt event in Pelham but lost 6-1 5-7 6-0 to Laura Pous-Tio.

She said: "(I'm) disappointed the way this trip has gone. All I can say is that I will keep my head down and continue towards putting everything together."

And Anne Keothavong made it a hat-trick of defeats for British Fed Cup players on Wednesday when she lost 6-4 7-5 to compatriot Samantha Murray in Edgbaston.

The GB team will be led in Argentina by British number one Laura Robson. She lost in the first round of the Katowice Open this week.


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