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Keothavong pledges she'll crack top 100

PUBLISHED: 17:49 06 July 2007 | UPDATED: 14:35 07 September 2010

CUMBERLAND'S Anne Keothavong this week said she has the hunger and desire to crack the world s top 100. In the wake of LTA boss Roger Draper's stinging attack on British players for their lack of effort and fitness – only Tim Henman and

By Pat Mooney

CUMBERLAND'S Anne Keothavong this week said she has the hunger and desire to crack the world's top 100.

In the wake of LTA boss Roger Draper's stinging attack on British players for their lack of effort and fitness - only Tim Henman and Katie O'Brien reached the second round at Wimbledon - the British No 2 pledged to rise to the challenge in the coming months.

"I think the LTA have every right to be tough on the players, but at the same time none of the players demanded a £40m National Tennis Centre," Keothavong exclusively told Ham&High Sport.

"We just want some tennis courts to play on and access to good coaches.

"However, I certainly agree with Roger Draper that there should be British players in the top 100 - that's what I want for my career as well.

"I think I have every chance of achieving that. I don't see any reason why I can't be up there. I feel I'm very close.

"I've been practising a lot during the past few weeks with girls who are ranked inside the top 100 and I can beat them in practise. But I have to do it on the match court."

Keothavong has benefitted from "fresh input" into her game from a new LTA coach, Simon Walsh.

"Earlier this year I sort of lost my way a little bit. I was travelling on my own, which I found incredibly tough, and did not enjoy that experience," she says.

"But now it is a fresh start for me and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. I'm very excited."

Keothavong came up against the world No 3 Jelena Jankovic in her first round match at SW19 and was beaten 6-2, 6-0.

The 23-year-old fared no better in the doubles when she and her partner Claire Curren came up against Venus and Serena Williams and bowed out 6-1, 6-3.

"It has been a tough Wimbledon for me this year," admitted Keothavong, who also lost her British No 1 spot to O'Brien.

"I don't think you could have asked for a much tougher draw in either event," she said.

"The scoreline did not do me any justice against Jankovic. It could have been a bit closer and I could have won a few more games.

"But she's someone who has probably been the most consistent player on the tour this year. I don't think there was any shame there."

As for the Williams sisters, Keothavong says: "Seeing one across the net is intimidating enough, but both was really tough for Claire and I.

"We tried our hardest out there and lost to two of the greatest ever players.

"I had not played against them before - it was a new experience for both of us. It was good to have a chance to play against such greats as them.

"They are the type of player you want to test yourself against. We did get not killed out there, and there was no shame to lose in straight sets."

l ALEX Bogdanovic and Melanie South shocked No 1 seeds Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond in the second round of the mixed doubles at Wimbledon on Wednesday. Globe's Boggo and South - both knocked out in the first round of their singles - won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.


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