Anne justifies wildcard place by winning tournament

CUMBERLAND S Anne Keothavong justified her late wildcard entry by winning the inaugural Barnstaple Open in Devon on Sunday. Keothavong beat Italy s Alberta Brianti 6-4, 6-2 to lift the Darlington Vase in the $50,000 final at the South Coast s Tarka Tenni

CUMBERLAND'S Anne Keothavong justified her late wildcard entry by winning the inaugural Barnstaple Open in Devon on Sunday.

Keothavong beat Italy's Alberta Brianti 6-4, 6-2 to lift the Darlington Vase in the $50,000 final at the South Coast's Tarka Tennis Centre.

The British No.1, whose world ranking has risen five places to 75 this week, reached the final with a 6-4, 6-4 defeat of fellow Brit Katie O'Brien.

Keothavong stormed though to the final without dropping a set and believes she is now well equipped to take on top players.

"Alberta was a fantastic opponent and played some great tennis but I felt I perhaps was the stronger player today," said Keothavong.

"It's my first time in Barnstaple and I have really enjoyed being here. I'm very pleased I accepted my last minute wildcard.

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"I've had a great time and a lovely week. Everyone has been welcoming and friendly."The British girls have all felt we have had a lot of support all week."

Last month Keothavong reached a career high world ranking of No.71 after reaching the third round of the US Open and the second round at Wimbledon.