Melanie South put up a valiant fight in her quarter final match against Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium at the DFS Classic, falling 6-4 6-3.
South took a 4-2 lead in the first set but was reeled back in by Wickmayer who won four straight games to claim the set.
The Belgian had chances to break again in the sixth game of the second set while leading 3-2. But South dug deep, fighting off break points at deuce to level the set 3-3.
Wickmayer came back at the British girl again in the eighth game of the set, breaking to lead 5-3 before serving out the match.
After the match South complimented the way Wickmayer had played. “She played a great match and she’s had some good wins here too this week so she was very confident,” said 22-year-old South. “I definitely had my chances but I got a bit over excited on those points and that’s something I’m going to go away and work on.”
And on the LTA’s ‘Think Pink’ day, which encourages girls to play tennis, South had some advice for youngsters thinking about taking up the sport saying, “You have to be dedicated and motivated but it’s definitely a great game to play so I think girls should just go for it.”
The LTA’s head coach of women’s tennis, Nigel Sears, was full of praise for South’s performance. “She had fantastic wins over Bammer and Nakamura to reach the quarters and she really was in the match today,” said Sears.
“Mel’s got a wildcard into Eastbourne and Wimbledon and she really deserves those opportunities. She really runs her socks off and never gives up, ever. Her ranking is on the rise, she’s feeling very positive, she will take away a lot of confidence for this week and she will be looking forward to the rest of the grass court season.”
Next stop for South is the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour International Women's Open in Eastbourne where she has been awarded a wildcard into the main draw. Played at Devonshire Park, the tournament begins on June 16