It may be a
quiet time for tennis after the Australian Open but there's one name that
stands out for me - Elena Baltacha.
the final of the Dow Corning Classic in Michigan
and then come from a set down against the top seed for the title could be a
really turning point for Elena.
absolutely thrilled for her - she's a cracking person who has worked so hard to
come through adversity.
more than her fair share of injury problems and that can take its toll. To make
the necessary improvements to your game at 26 years old is not easy and she's
always had a big game - a massive forehand - but it's coming to fruition now.
times in the past when she tried too hard but she is a much more relaxed player
now and whereas she was losing tight matches before, she's now winning
just a subtle difference to move from getting into a winning position to
actually converting the points and now she is able to do that.
deservedly moved up the rankings and I don't see why she has to stop at 70. She
has an aggressive game and now she has the chance to get near the top 50 - and
I'll be supporting her right until the end.
wasn't a bad 12 months for Elena by any means, reaching the third round at
Roland Garros and the US Open, but I fully expect 2010 to be better and her
performance in Melbourne
in January got the ball rolling.
undoubtedly sent her confidence through the roof - rightly so - and it's a
snowball effect from there. I was not surprised at all to see her win out in America - she
really believes in herself now.
to see British women in the headlines for the right reasons. They've come in
for their fair share of criticism with Andy Murray so strong in the men's game
but Anne Keothavong got things going last year.
For her to
reach 48 in the world rankings so early in the year was a magnificent
achievement and it was a great shame that a terrible knee injury cut her season
success acted as a trigger for the other girls. Anne and Elena have a great
friendship but they are also rivals and one will always want to go one better
than the other.
has taken the lead and if she can stay injury-free and keep her confidence high
then I see no reason why she won't be knocking on the door for that top 50