Keothavong tumbles in epic first-round clash

ESPN staff
August 20, 2012
Anne Keothavong lost an intense battle © Getty Images

Anne Keothavong lost a heartbreaking three-set tussle at the Texas Open on Monday evening.

The Brit battled her way back into the match against Marina Erakovic, before ultimately going down 6-1 5-7 7-6(9). Erakovic, who will partner Heather Watson in the doubles draw of the tournament, thoroughly dominated the opening set but it was a different story as the match developed into a battle of wills later on.

Keothavong broke her New Zealand opponent twice in the second set, with Erakovic's cause not helped by six double faults. After taking the second, Keothavong then broke again midway through the third set and appeared to be motoring toward victory.

However, Erakovic rallied to send the match to a decisive tiebreaker. Keothavong fought on, but lost the first-round match on the 20th point of the tiebreaker after spending almost three hours on court.

Britain's final hope on Monday then rested with Emily Webley-Smith. The 28-year-old, though, fell to Mirjana Lucic in 46 minutes.

Third seed Roberta Vinci required just 66 minutes to dispatch Su-Wei Hsieh in their encounter. The Italian was convincing on serve and broke her opponent on four occasions.

Jelena Jankovic was pushed all the way by Yaroslava Shvedova. The second seed prevailed 6(7)-7 7-6(4) 6-1 in a match which lasted three hours and six minutes.

Elswhere, at the New Haven Open at Yale, Caroline Wozniacki breezed into the second round courtesy of a 6-3 6-3 triumph over Ekaterina Makarova.

The former world No. 1 expended little energy as she pinned Makarova to the back of the court. Wozniacki's all-round game allowed her to dictate terms for much of the contest, and she duly claimed a comfortable victory.

However, neither player appeared at ease on serve, with Wozniacki dropping serve three times during the match.

Sara Errani moved into the second round with a 6-4 7-5 win over Bethanie Mattek-Sands, while sixth seed Dominika Cibulkova also progressed following a 7-5 6-3 win over Anabel Medina Garrigues.

Russia's Maria Kirilenko faced no problems in defeating Shahar Peer 6-2 6-2, but there was a surprise as Mona Barthel dispatched Daniela Hantuchova 6-3 7-5.

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