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BBC WEBSITE - 13/06/2008

South bows out in quarter-finals

South beat fourth seed Sybille Bammer on her way to the last eight at Birmingham
Melanie South's winning run at the DFS Classic in Birmingham was ended at the quarter-final stage when she was beaten 6-4 6-3 by Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer.

The 22-year-old Briton, who beat fourth seed Sybille Bammer on her way to the last eight, started well and served for a 5-3 lead in the opening set.

But an easy miss at the net allowed Wickmayer to level at 4-4 and she broke again immediately to take the set 6-4.

Wickmayer broke again to move 5-3 up in the second set before sealing her win.

South, the British number four, was outfought in the end but still bows out with her head held high.

"I had a lot of opportunities today which I don't think I took advantage of," South said.

"That's definitely something I'm going to go away and work on.

"I think I can take a lot of positives out of this week and continue to do well in these tournaments. I'm pretty proud of how I've done. Reaching the quarter-finals was great for British tennis.

"I know I can beat any player on grass and the next two tournaments will be a good opportunity to show that. I've a wild card into the main draw at Eastbourne and I will go there with a lot of confidence.

606: DEBATE
Despite this result, I think we can all conclude that it has been a great week for South

kuzfan

"There is obviously a long way to go but this has given me confidence to go on trying to build my ranking."

The 22-year-old from Surrey was the first Briton in 16 years to make the quarter-finals at the Edgbaston Priory Club.

Wickmayer, who has climbed more than 300 places in the world rankings to 85th in the last 12 months, had caused an upset of her own by beating eighth seed Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands, 6-3 6-4 in the third round.

The Belgian will play Bethanie Mattek in the semi-finals after the American claimed a shock 6-3 6-0 win over Nicole Vaidisova.

"She played a good match and I didn't," said Vaidisova, who is coached by Tim Henman's one-time mentor David Felgate.

"It was one of those days when nothing really worked the way I wanted it to."

Despite her defeat, South remains confident she can make an impact at Wimbledon, which starts on 23 June.

She beat 11th seed Francesca Schiavone in the first round in 2006 and is keen to face another higher-ranked player at the All-England club.

"It would be good to get some seeds early on when they could be vulnerable if they have not had much time to build up their game on grass," she explained.



by BBC



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