Russain ace proves to be no Sharapova

THE Gotelee & Goldsmith East of England Lawn Tennis Championships was bathed in sunshine yesterday to greet the latest glamour girl of Russian tennis.Olga Poutchkova, the No.

THE Gotelee & Goldsmith East of England Lawn Tennis Championships was bathed in sunshine yesterday to greet the latest glamour girl of Russian tennis.

Olga Poutchkova, the No.1 seed here at Felixstowe, was also the number one attraction as she set about trying to emulate her fellow Russian, superstar Maria Sharapova.

She opened up with a tie against Yorkshire-based Anna Smith and in the early games, struggled to live up to her burgeoning reputation. Smith took advantage to break serve at 3-3 but was immediately pegged back as the Russian, ranked 125th in the world, began to find her range from the baseline.

With the top seed 5-4 up, Smith sent an errant forehand long before being punished by a huge Poutchkova backhand winner. Having rarely looked entirely comfortable, Poutchkova did what all good players do, played the big points well and came away with the first set 6-4.

It was a case of deja-vu in the second set as Poutchkova continued to look awkward when drawn to the net, but was able to out-think her British opponent from the baseline. With the set seemingly drifting towards a tie break, a Smith double-fault gifted the Russian a match point which she gratefully took via a fortunate net cord.

Results from Felixstowe

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Men's Singles

First Round: (1) T Matsui (Jap) bt A Slabinsky (Gbr) 6-4 6-3. R Ghedin (Ita) bt L Cook (USA) 6-2 6-7 (7-4) 7-6 (7-1). T Rushby (Gbr) bt P Eichenberger (Sui) 6-7 (7-5) 6-3 6-2. (6) J Goodall (Gbr) bt T Bradshaw (Gbr) 6-2 6-3. N Bamford (Gbr) bt R Hutchins (Gbr) 6-2 7-6 (7-5). R Wire (Gbr) bt E Corrie (Gbr) 6-2 6-4. (3) M Smith (Gbr) bt D Evans (Gbr) 6-4 6-3. A Kennaugh (Gbr) bt S La Porte (USA) 6-2 4-6 6-4. T Peric (Cro) bt D Rice (Gbr) 6-4 6-1. (2) L Bourgeois (Aus) bt E Iannuzzi (Ita) 6-4 6-4.

Women's Singles

First Round: (1) O Poutchkova (Rus) bt A Smith (Gbr) 6-4 6-4. G Stoop (Gbr) bt I Pavlovic (Fra) 7-5 6-3. D Brown (Gbr) bt K Borgersen (Nor) 0-6 6-1 6-1. M South (Gbr) bt A Sieveke (Ger) 6-3 6-2. (6) S Borwell (Gbr) bt R Doernemann (Ger) 6-3 6-1. (8) Y Fedossova (Fra) bt K Vankova (Cze) 5-7 7-5 7-6 (8-6). T Musgrave (Aus) bt L Dossor (Gbr) 7-5 3-6 6-3. (7) J Coin (Fra) bt R Llewellyn (Gbr) 3-6 6-2 7-5. J O'Donoghue (Gbr) bt M Berry (Gbr) 3-6 7-5 6-3. A Keen (Gbr) bt N Khan (Gbr) 6-2 2-6 7-6 (7-5). (2) A Brianti (Ita) bt A Tout (Rom) 6-4 6-1.

Men's Doubles

First Round: (1) J Goodall (Gbr) & R Hutchins (Gbr) bt I Atkinson (Gbr) & E Corrie (Gbr) 6-4 6-4. D Rice (Gbr) & D Walsh (Gbr) bt A Coelho (Aus) & M Ebden (Aus) 7-5 3-6 6-3. (3) J Cerretani (USA) & F Nielsen (Den) bt B Arlidge (Gbr) & M Taylor (Gbr) 6-2 6-3. T Aaron (USA) & D Cox (Gbr) bt D Loucareas (Gre) & K Taylor (RSA) 7-5 1-6 6-4. R Irwin (Gbr) & D King-Turner (Nzl) bt A Miotto (Gbr) & S Mishra (Ind) 6-7 (7-5) 6-1 6-3. (3) L Bourgeois (Aus) & L Childs (Gbr) bt S La Porte (USA) & J Ludlow (USA) 6-3 6-4.

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