Baltacha battered in Paris

  • Last Updated: May 28 2013, 20:58 BST

Elena Baltacha's Grand Slam return ended in a 6-3 6-0 defeat to New Zealand's Marina Erakovic in the first round of the French Open.

Elena Baltacha: Well beaten in the first round at Roland Garros
Elena Baltacha: Well beaten in the first round at Roland Garros

Having waited all day as bad weather disrupted the schedule at Roland Garros, Baltacha's match was finally moved from Court Three to Court Six at 7.45pm local time.

The former British number one is now ranked 200th after taking eight months off following the Olympics to have ankle surgery.

She had expected that to be the end of her career but realised she did have appetite for a lengthy period of rehabilitation after all and played the first tournament of her comeback in America last month.

Since then the 29-year-old has won four matches, including an impressive victory over then-world number 58 Stefanie Voegele in Brussels last week.

Erakovic, meanwhile, has been in terrible form, losing five straight matches before Tuesday's contest, and seven of her last eight.

Baltacha could not have made a better start, breaking her opponent's serve in the first game and holding for a 2-0 lead, but from there her fortunes began to go downhill.

Despite her bad run, which has seen her fall to 92nd in the rankings, Erakovic was hitting big serves and pounding the ball off the ground.

It was proving too much for Baltacha, who saw five successive games go past before holding serve. She then had her opponent at 0-40 serving for the set but could not take any of the chances.

The second set was rather a horror show for Baltacha, who could not find any way of troubling Erakovic, and the New Zealander clinched victory after 56 minutes.

With so much time lost to rain, Heather Watson's match was postponed until Wednesday.

The British number two, who is making her return after more than two months out with glandular fever, will face Swiss Stefanie Voegele.


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