• WTA Tour

Keothavong leads British charge in Birmingham

ESPN staff
June 12, 2012 « Parker: We must raise our game to progress | Chartbeat test »
Anne Keothavong enjoyed an impressive win over Tamira Paszek © PA Photos
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Anne Keothavong continued her impressive form on the grass as she progressed to the second round of the AEGON Classic in Birmingham with a straight sets victory over Tamira Paszek.

Keothavong, who leapfrogged Elena Baltacha in the WTA rankings to become British No. 1 after reaching the semi-finals of the AEGON Trophy in Nottingham last week, booked her place in the second round with a 6-2 7-5 victory.

Laura Robson had no problems progressing against qualifier Grace Min, triumphing 6-4 6-1 in 52 minutes.

Heather Watson had it slightly tougher than Robson, taking over two hours to conquer Paula Ormaechea 6-4 3-6 6-3.

She is joined in the second round by fellow Brit Tara Moore, who pressed her claims for a Wimbledon wildcard as she stunned No. 11 seed Iveta Benesova in straight sets. The world No. 320 converted all four break points to claim an impressive 6-1 6-2 win against a player ranked more than 260 places above her.

With two wildcard slots remaining after Watson and Robson were awarded wildcards on Tuesday, Moore will hope a good run at the Edgbaston Priory Club will be enough to convince organisers to hand her a place in the main draw at the All England Club.

Melanie South is also in the running for a Wimbledon wildcard after she showed real strength of character to win a deciding set against Mirjana Lucic. After the Brit won the opening set, Lucic appeared to have recovered, but world No. 264 South dug deep to claim a 6-1 4-6 6-3 win against a player ranked more than 250 places above her.

Samantha Murray was unable to add to the British success on Tuesday, despite a valiant fight she was beaten 6-4 6-4 by Urszula Radwanska.

Meanwhile at the Nurnberger Gastein Ladies in Austria, top seed Julia Goerges crashed out at the hands of Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp. In a match that was heavily disrupted by rain, the German won the opening set, but was unable to stave off a 3-6 6-3 6-3 defeat to the world No. 211.

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