Baltacha staying positive

  • Last Updated: May 29 2013, 9:00 BST

Elena Baltacha insisted her comeback is on track despite a swift loss to Marina Erakovic in the first round of the French Open on Tuesday.

Elena Baltacha: 'I've just got to keep working'
Elena Baltacha: 'I've just got to keep working'

The 29-year-old thought she had played her last match when she announced at the Olympics that she would be having ankle surgery, but she realised she was not finished with the sport and returned last month after eight months out.

Now ranked 200th, Baltacha entered Roland Garros on a protected ranking from before her lay-off but it was not the grand slam return she had hoped for as New Zealand's Erakovic won 6-3 6-0 in less than an hour.

Baltacha will return to the UK to play the two second-tier events in Nottingham before heading to Eastbourne and then Wimbledon, where she is certain to be given a wild card.

She said: "My ranking hasn't really fallen that much. I thought it would fall a bit more, so it's not a bad point to start off with, I think. Also I've got points to defend, I've got quite a few coming up.

"But July would be the last points I have to defend. I actually have nothing to defend until April, so it'll give me a really good run.

"I know I have to be patient and I'm going to be in qualifying a lot of times. But I think as long as I keep improving (I'm happy)."

As well as her main coach, Nino Severino, Baltacha has also been working with Louis Cayer, who coaches Britain's men's doubles players.

She feels she now has a new dimension to her game, saying: "Louis Cayer has come on board and added a lot of amazing things to my game. I'm very excited and very positive. I've just got to keep working.

"I know definitely I'm a better player than what I was before, so I just have to keep chipping away at that and I know it will come good in the end."

Heather Watson had been due to start her campaign on Tuesday as well but rain saw her match cancelled and she will instead play Stefanie Voegele first up on Court Six on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old British number two is also returning from a break, albeit a shorter one, having not played since March because of glandular fever.


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