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LTA Website - 25/05/2009

Mel South

Mel South and Katie O'Brien both saw their French Open campaigns end on day two.

British No.3 Melanie South fought hard before succumbing 6-0, 6-7 (5) 5-7 to rising star Michelle Larcher de Brito in the opening round of Roland Garros. Katie O'Brien lost to Olga Govortsova 1-6 1-6.

South started with far more purpose than her Portugese opponent, racing through the first set and pushing Larcher de Brito hard in the second. From being firmly in South’s favour early on, the contest became far more unpredictable and contained 16 breaks of serve, including one at 5-4 in the second set with South served for the match.

Speaking after the match South said; "I started really well. I knew like in the couple of her matches in the qualifying as well she lost a couple of easy sets. She doesn't let it phase her. She's always fights. As I said before, she's a huge competitor, so I knew that she would still be in the match. She managed to turn it around and play a lot better."

South has just spent seven weeks training at the Lawn Tennis Association’s National Tennis Centre at Roehampton with the help of Andy Murray’s fitness trainer Jez Green and battled with grit and determination in hot and humid conditions. She twice broke back and saved match-points after going behind in the third set before Larcher de Brito, who is one of the most talked-about teenagers in the world game, raised her game.

Both girls will now get ready for the British grass-court season, which begins next Monday with the AEGON Trophy , the AEGON Classic in Birmingham and the AEGON International in Eastbourne.



by LTA



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