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..... Well, one player who has certainly risen to the challenges set out by both Baltracha and Roger Draper has been Melanie South who has risen from 357 to 177 in the world rankings in the last five months and has certainly got the bit between her teeth to climb further up the rankings.

This is an extract from her profile on the LTA website, "my ambition is to appear in the first round proper of Wimbledon". It is amazing what you can achieve once it is written down and South appeared in the first round at this year's Wimbledon, progressing into round two by defeating world No.14 Francesca Schiavone.

Confidence-wise South is now armed with the knowledge that she can compete with the top ranked women on the tour. South has since racked up the miles and headed out to the Far East where she won her first $25,000 title in China, a victory which helped her break into the worlds top 200.

So could Roger Draper's great optimism and passion for tennis, Elena Baltacha's rallying call or the meteoric rise of Andy Murray from 400 to world top 20 player within a year be the catalyst for the rise in rankings of British women's tennis?

It could be all three or it could be that the girls who are now entering onto the tour are hungry for success and determined to put the spotlight on the women's game. Whatever it is, the foundation for success is clearly being laid and now we just need someone brave enough to stick their head out and shoot for not just the top 100 but the top 50. Could this be Melanie South?


Congratulations to the many players who have made huge learps in their rankings since May. Particular mention goes to Mel South who has been a BWTA member since the early days of the Crawley Warren one day events and has broken into the world's top 200 - it is much harder to rise 200 places when you are higher up the ranking list!

by Jemima Fleming

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