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BBC WEBSITE - 12/01/2009

BRITAINS SOUTH INTO AUSSIE OPEN

British number two Melanie South will compete in the Australian Open after reigning champion Maria Sharapova withdrew because of a shoulder injury.

The 22-year-old Londoner, who played at Wimbledon in each of the last three years as a wildcard, enters a Grand Slam by right for the first time.

South, ranked 110 in the world, joins Anne Keothavong in Friday's main draw.

It is the first time two British women have gained direct entry into a Grand Slam since the 1993 US Open.

That year Jo Durie and Clare Wood competed at Flushing Meadows.

South beat Meng Yuan of China to qualify for this week's Sydney International and reached the second round on Monday when former Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli retired with a left calf strain with the match tied at 1-1.

606: DEBATE
South should be in top 100 next week, Anne won last night as well - things looking rosy for gb woman.



by BBC



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