O’Brien misses out
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:35
The 23-year-old from Yorkshire, playing her third grand slam event of the year, led 3-1 in the deciding set but lost her temper and the match as the world number 35 prevailed 6-2 5-7 6-4 in a match that lasted six minutes over two hours in the blazing sun.
Meanwhile, teenager Dan Evans, one of four British wild-card entries in the men’s singles, produced a spirited display on his SW19 debut but still lost in straight sets to Nikolay Davydenko, the 12th-seeded Russian.
O’Brien, who reached the second round in 2007, wasted a host of chances in the first set but found her cutting edge at the start of the second, twice breaking her opponent to lead 4-0.
However, two double faults in the next game proved costly as her Czech opponent broke back and O’Brien’s serving accuracy again let her down as she was broken for a second time.
O’Brien’s body language told a worrying story but she stopped the rot and levelled the match when Benesova dropped her serve in the 12th game.
The Yorkshire player made the more impressive start to the deciding set, breaking her opponent twice to lead 3-1, but question marks over her temperament re-surfaced as she twice failed to hold onto her serve.
Evans, 19, from Warwickshire, who is ranked 305th in the world, was beaten 6-2 6-3 6-3 by former world number three Davydenko but provided some thrills and spills for the sun-baked crowd on Court Four.
He made a flying start to the second set, breaking the Russian in the opening game after a superb defensive lob that caused his opponent to look into the burning sun, but the Russian won a series of marathon games to take the set 6-3.
It was a similar story in the third set, with Evans thrilling his fans with an array of ground shots but Davydenko inevitably winning the big points. The all-important break came in the seventh game and the Briton dropped his serve again to bring the entertaining match to an abrupt end after an hour and 49 minutes.