Flipkens too good for Baltacha
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:36
The 25-year-old British number two from Enfield was highly fancied to reach the third round for the second time after a tremendous win over Alona Bondarenko but failed to capitalise on an impressive start and was well beaten in the end.
Flipkens, the Belgian number two, overcame not only the best of British but a partisan crowd crammed into Court 4 to earn a crack at world number one Dinara Safina, who beat Rossana De Los Rios, of Paraguay.
Baltacha had beaten her opponent in straight sets in both their previous meetings but this time she had no answer to Flipkens’ drop shots, general trickery at the net and unerring accuracy.
Yet Baltacha was all power and purpose in the early stages and broke the Belgian in the third game with the aid of two double faults.
The Briton was not tested on her own serve until the sixth game when she found herself 15-40 down and double faulted on the second break point to lose the initiative. Flipkens then grew in confidence and pounced for the set when Baltacha produced a second erratic service game.
Baltacha was aggrieved at a number of close line calls and her mood worsened in the second game of the second set when Flipkens produced a stinging return to gain the first break.
The Belgian was on a roll now and miraculously retrieved a deep lob to come up with a backhand winner and consolidate the break.
There was no way back for the Briton when she dropped her serve for a second time in the set and could not halt the slide.
Trailing 0-5 and 15-45, she saved a total of three match points with the aid of some swinging forehands to force the Belgian to serve out for the win, which she achieved, appropriately enough, with a delicate drop shot.