Baltacha wins biggest title

BRITISH No.1 Elena Baltacha won her biggest title on home soil today by beating Petra Cetkowska (CZE) 7-5 6-3 to win the AEGON (Nottingham) Challenge, a �100,000 ITF event.

This is the second ITF �100,000 Ipswich-based Baltacha has won after ITF Midland in February 2010. This is her fourth title in the UK (after Felixstowe �10,000 in 2002, Shrewsbury $75,000 in 2009, AEGON Trophy Nottingham �50,000 in 2010).

She is now scheduled to play the AEGON International in Eastbourne before taking her place in the main draw at Wimbledon. She has been drawn against Aravane Rezai in the first round in Eastbourne.

Baltacha said: “It’s great to win a title this big, especially playing at home. It makes it even more special. The decision to go indoors was made pretty quickly and, to be honest, I felt like I had a better chance going indoors, so none of that bothered me at all.

In the first set, I think we both started a little bit hit-and-miss, probably because we hadn’t hit indoors and we needed to get used to it. Then by the end of the first set, I felt like I was dominating. It was me getting things going. Once I won that set, I think I lifted. I felt very confident to push on and I relaxed and I thought, ‘Okay, I can really go for it now.’ She started playing better towards the end by then it was too late.

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This is everything I could have hoped for from this week. I have had enough preparation on the grass going into Eastbourne and my form has been solid all week. I couldn’t ask for more going into Eastbourne and Wimbledon.”

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