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British Tennis - LTA Official Journal - 1/10/2002

Peer pressure

Taken from the article on the Ariel 18 and under National Championships at Nottingham.

It's the middle of August and the pressure is on - the temperature is soaring near the 30s, there's that back-of-the-mind nagging burden of exam results, plus a very different kind of tension associated with beating and not being beaten by your fellow Brits.

Sixteen-year-old Melanie South, who earned her first WTA ranking a week previously, had a close second round shave against Tara Wigan from Middlesex at 2-6,7-5,6-3 and another at 4-6,6-3,7-6 against Scotland's Mhairi Neish.

In the quarter-finals she beat another Scot, Frances Hendry 6-1,6-3 then recovered from 2-5 down to upset the top seed Emily Webley-Smith in the semis.

"I stayed mentally tough and I knew I could come back if I played my game," said South. "I'm aggressive: I like to be the one who decides what happens with the points whether I win or lose them. It's me who's making the play."

by Rob Eyton-Jones

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