Wimbledon 2013: I wasn’t consistent, admits Elena Baltacha after loss

Wimbledon 2013: Elena Baltacha admits she failed to produce her best tennis after a 6-4 6-1 loss to Flavia Pennetta in the first round

elena baltacha
Elena Baltacha lost in straight sets on Monday Photo: Marianne Bevis

Elena Baltacha admitted she struggled to produce her best tennis after losing 6-4 6-1 to Italy’s Flavia Pennetta in the first round at Wimbledon.

The former British No1 came close to retirement following ankle surgery in the wake of the Olympics last year but Kiev-born Baltacha decided to continue her career.

Remarkably, she achieved a wildcard into this year’s championships just nine weeks after her operation but was not at her best against the Italian.

“I knew going into the match that if someone has been 10 in the world, has been around for a long time that they’re going to be dangerous, even if she’s dropped in the ranking,” Baltacha said.

“I think on the whole she played a very, very solid match. And I think I didn’t play my best.

“I didn’t play how I have been the last week and a half. I just wasn’t consistent enough to get more out of what I was trying to do tactically-wise against her.”

Efficiency was key for Pennetta as she converted five out of six break point chances, hitting 22 clean winners, compared to just 12 for Baltacha.

The Scot has been able to reach the second round over the past two years and looked in good form coming into the event, but she endured a frustrating day, with far too many errors.

She added: “If someone said to me like nine weeks ago, your second week back, Judy (Murray) is going to select you for Fed Cup, I would never have believed that.

“Winning Nottingham, winning a round at Eastbourne, if someone said that to me, I would have said, actually I’ll take that definitely.

“At the moment I really need to get my ranking back up so I can get myself into the bigger events.

“The challenge I’ve set myself is I want my number one spot back. With Laura and Heather, they’re young and very talented.

“Realistically, am I going to get it? I don’t know. But I think in a year and a half, maybe two years, with all the work I’ve put in I’ll be a contender.”

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