PreviousNext

London 2012 Olympics: Elena Baltacha beats Agnes Szavay

By // Sports | London 2012 Olympics: Elena Baltacha beats Agnes Szavay
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

By Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 10:39 EST, 28 July 2012 | UPDATED: 11:39 EST, 28 July 2012

 

Elena Baltacha got Great Britain's tennis players off to a winning start in their Olympic campaign by overpowering Hungary's Agnes Szavay in the first round of the women's singles at a sunny Wimbledon.

The 28-year-old was always in control against an opponent who has been plagued by injury problems over the past year as she claimed a 6-3, 6-3 win in just over an hour.

The British No 4 broke serve twice in the first set and, after saving a break point in the opening game of the second, made a decisive move in the eighth game before closing out victory on her first match point.

Off to a flyer: Elena Baltacha was in fine form as she beat Agnes Szavay

Off to a flyer: Elena Baltacha was in fine form as she beat Agnes Szavay

Baltacha said: 'Very good start, delighted with that. I think for a first round match, I'm very happy with how I played. I'm chuffed to be in the second round now.

'I was quite nervous before the match. I think once I put my GB gear on, it relaxed me more because I've been looking forward to this for such a long time.'

Szavay does not currently have a world ranking such has been the extent of her back problems and she was simply not strong enough to live with Baltacha's power from the back of the court.

The world No 102 was also playing far from fully fit, though, with her right shin heavily strapped to relieve the pressure on an ankle problem.

Brushed aside: Hungary's Agnes Szavay

Brushed aside: Hungary's Agnes Szavay

The Scot plans to take six months off after the Olympics - pre US Open - to have surgery, definitely on her right ankle and possibly on her left as well.

She said: 'They told me at some point I'll need to have surgery because basically the bone has grown an extra bit of bone.

'It just needs a little extra bit of shaving. They found a loose body in my ankle. I've actually got it in my left foot as well, but not as severe.

'I am thinking of having surgery very soon on it. We're talking about taking six months and having the surgery done.

'It's not a serious surgery, it's pretty straightforward. I know that at some point I need to have it done.

'I would maybe ask about having the left one done as well, if there's a chance the left one would get worse as well. Probably be smarter if I get two done.'

Baltacha insists it is not causing her too much discomfort when playing, though.

'It's manageable, it's not terrible,' she said.

Kim Clijsters' first taste of Olympic action lasted little more than an hour as she saw off Italy's Roberta Vinci to reach the second round.

London is both a Games debut and swansong for Belgian Clijsters, who will retire for the second time after the US Open in a month's time.

She has struggled with injuries this season and was hampered by an abdominal strain at Wimbledon three weeks ago, where she crashed out in the fourth round to Angelique Kerber.

But she looked in very good form, racing through the first set and then edging out Vinci in a closer second to win 6-1, 6-4 and become the first singles victor of the Olympics.

Clijsters is relishing the chance to compete at the Games and was very happy with her form against Vinci.

Impressive: Kim Clijsters is through to the second round of the singles

Impressive: Kim Clijsters is through to the second round of the singles

She said: 'It's a great feeling knowing that I'm here because there were moments in the last year-and-a-half where I definitely thought about retiring and not even getting to the Olympics.

'So I'm happy that I stuck with it and that I kept working hard. I'm happy that I'm healthy and that I got to play a good match in the first round.

'I still feel that whenever I step out on court and I feel good physically, if I play good tennis, I can beat a lot of good players. With that attitude, I'll go until I play my last match. That's a good attitude. It's something that I need to have.'

Guest of honour: United States first lady Michelle Obama watched Serena Williams at Wimbledon

Guest of honour: United States first lady Michelle Obama watched Serena Williams at Wimbledon

Wimbledon champion Serena Williams returned to Centre Court three weeks after winning her fifth title at the All England Club, and she had an illustrious name in her box in the form of US First Lady Michelle Obama.

Williams had a potentially tricky draw against former world No 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia but she went into the match on a run of 11 straight victories and ran out a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 winner. 

Jankovic's countrywoman Ana Ivanovic fared better, the 11th seed defeating talented young American Christina McHale 6-4, 7-5.

Williams, who next meets Poland's Urszula Radwanska, was inspired by her esteemed guest and gave the First Lady a thumbs-up at the end of her match.

Going strong: Serena Williams is safely through to the second round of the singles

Going strong: Serena Williams is safely through to the second round of the singles

'They asked me did I mind if she sat in the family box,' said Williams. 'I was like, "Of course not. Please, it would be my honour." I love Michelle, so it was good.

'I gave her a thumbs-up just to acknowledge that I knew she was here. Obviously it was impossible not to see her but it was cool.'

Two of last year's grand slam champions are already out of the tournament, with fifth seed Stosur and 11th seed Li Na both losing.

Australian Stosur went down in an epic against Carla Suarez Navarro, the Spaniard winning 3-6, 7-5, 10-8, while China's Li was beaten 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 by Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova.

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Cheating map of UK reveals Maidenhead to be Britain's most adulterous town

One of the richest towns in Britain also has the highest number of people having extramarital affairs, according to new research. Wealthy Maidenhead tops a new ... Full story

Trainee teacher hangs himself after split from the girlfriend he couldn’t live without

A trainee teacher hanged himself on New Year’s Eve after a split from his girlfriend, an inquest heard today. Keiran Walsh, 22, split from his partner ... Full story

White Dee, Benefits Street's most infamous and shameless resident

Late on a dark and rainy night, it is all go-go-go down at White Dee’s house in Birmingham. There is a pan of fish stew ... Full story

DJ Chris Moyles claimed to be a second-hand CAR DEALER to save £1 million in celebrity tax avoidance scheme

DJ Chris Moyles claimed to be a second-hand car dealer while presenting Radio 1’s Breakfast Show in a bid to save up to £1million in ... Full story

Kym Marsh fling with personal trainer, Matt Baker

Her marriage to Jamie Lomas ended in October and now Kym Marsh has sparked romance rumours after spending Valentine's weekend in Paris with her personal ... Full story

Nicole Scherzinger shows off a bit too much

NICOLE Scherzinger and fellow leading ladies at this year's Brits spent hours getting ready for the big night.But once the after-parties kicked in, their extensive ... Full story

Mother arrested after11-month-old daughter mauled to death by dog

A mother has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after her “beautiful and adorable” 11-month-old daughter was mauled to death by a dog.Ava Jayne Marie ... Full story

London Tube strike cancelled after last minute talks

A planned 48-hour strike by London Underground workers in a row over ticket office closures has been called off after a last-minute deal was agreed.Members ... Full story

First woman bishop in the Church of England could be appointed ‘by Christmas’

The first woman bishop in the Church of England could be appointed before the end of this year, the Church’s most senior official has disclosed.William ... Full story

Bank of England must move away from its rigid unemployment target or risk losing credibility

The Bank of England must "get back to basics" and move away from its rigid unemployment target or risk losing credibility, former Bank policymakers have ... Full story

Hollywood child star Shirley Temple dies at age 85

Shirley Temple, the American actress, singer and dancer, has died at her home in California from natural causes.Temple, who began her film career in 1932 ... Full story

Comment on: London 2012 Olympics: Elena Baltacha beats Agnes Szavay

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

Mario Balotelli to Arsenal? Striker's fiancée drops Gunners hint by posing in front of badge

Is Mario Balotelli's fiancée Fanny Neguesha's hinting that the striker wants to move to Arsenal? Here are the pair in New York, posing in front of ...

Eurostar enjoys 2% increase in customers for first six months of 2014

Eurostar have announced a 2% rise in in people using the trans-channel service for the first half of 2014, with five million passengers so far ...

Virgin Media owner Liberty Global says no plans for ITV takeover bid after acquiring BSkyB shares

US cable giant Liberty Global said it was excited to be a shareholder of ITV after the "opportunistic and attractive" investment in its largest market. The ...

Shark sightings trigger Spanish beach closures

Six beaches near popular Spanish holiday destination Barcelona were closed following a shark scare. Three blue sharks measuring between one and 1.5 metres were seen not ...

Shannon Guess Richardson: Actress jailed for 18 years after mailing ricin-spiked letters to US President and New York Mayor

An actress and former beauty queen who sent ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and the New York City mayor has been sentenced to 18 ...

BBC Breakfast producer’s dog cuddles up to weather presenter Carol Kirkwood – then betrays her by peeing live on TV

BBC Breakfast weather presenter Carol Kirkwood was giving an important update on the ongoing heatwave crisis that has struck Britain this morning when she was ...

Cheryl Cole wedding: Interest in Mustique soars by 648 per cent since singer married Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini

More people want to go to Mustique since Cheryl Cole secretly got married on the island a fortnight ago. However, the rise is quite notable – ...

Cheryl Cole wedding: The world wants to holiday in Mustique since singer married Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini

More people want to go to Mustique since Cheryl Cole secretly got married on the island a fortnight ago. However, the rise is quite notable – ...

UK weather: Hottest day arrives and the experts have some 'advice'

Blistering heat, thunderstorms and the prospect of flooding – no, it’s not a description of the rainforest but the UK over the next few days. Meteorologists ...

Missing London girl, 8, 'taken by father to be brought back to Bolivia'

A missing eight-year-old girl has allegedly been taken by her father without her mother’s consent, with police “growing increasing concerned” for the child’s welfare. Katrina Carvajal-Zurita, ...