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DAILY RECORD - 29/06/2006


ON the day Tim Henman exited Wimbledon fellow Briton Melanie South gave the home fans reason for celebration with the shock of the tournament.

With tennis legend Martina Navratilova looking on, South stunned world No.14 and 11th seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy 3-6 6-3 6-4.

As expected Schiavone, who is based in London, started in impressive fashion by winning the first set but South quickly seized control of the second.

She won the first three games and tightened her grip, breaking her opponent twice before finishing her off in the third with a breathtaking, crosscourt forehand and lightning ace.

It was a remarkable SW19 debut for a player who previously described her greatest ambition as playing at the All England Club.

South said: "I can't believe I won. I'm so happy. Obviously it was my best win ever and now I'm really looking forward to the second round.

"This is my first time here and I was up against someone who is 14 in the world, so I was nervous.

"But at the same time I had nothing to lose. No one was ever expecting me to win. I just went out and enjoyed it."

by Colin Duncan

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