Elena Baltacha out of French Open in first round to Marina Erakovic
Last Updated: 29/05/13 10:25am
Elena Baltacha's French Open lasted less than an hour as she crashed out 6-3 6-0 to New Zealand's Marina Erakovic in the first round at Roland Garros.
Baltacha made a bright start, breaking her opponent in the very first game, but that was about as good as it got for the former British No 1, only playing in the tournament because of a protected world ranking.
The Scot, who has dropped to No 200 in the world after a series of injuries and illness, found her rhythm early on and broke Erakovic before holding her own serve to lead 2-0.
But Erakovic hit form and a series of fierce passes, beautiful drop-shots and service winners quickly put her on the front foot.
Baltacha had a massive chance to get back into the match with Erakovic serving for the first set, but she blew three chances to break back and the New Zealander duly served out to take the advantage.
The second proved to be a sadly one-sided affair for Baltacha, who has barely played this season after major ankle surgery last summer that, at one point, looked like bringing an end to her professional career.
A series of missed shots and Erakovic's continually improving form meant points were few and far between, and a total of seven winners for the whole match from Baltacha told the story.
"I think she played really well. I started quite well but she was just guns blazing everywhere," Baltacha said.
"We were doing a bit of analysis on her last night. There were a couple of videos that were sent over to us. She completely played different to the tactics that I was expecting.
Did you know...
As well as her main coach, Nino Severino, Baltacha has also been working with Louis Cayer, who coaches Britain's men's doubles players.
"She varied the serve. She served unbelievable today. Her forehand, she just ran around everything. Obviously I knew she was going to do that, but her quality was right up there and she just played an unbelievable match. I couldn't hurt her with anything today.
"The comeback has been pretty good. I've been pretty happy. My form has been good. It's just a shame today I couldn't quite turn it around. It's a shame that she played such a good match. That happens. Am I going to grumble my sixth tournament back? No. It's going well, really well. I've just got to get on with it really."
Erakovic will next play 16th seed Dominika Cibulkova, and Baltacha's exit means British hopes in the singles tournaments lay solely with the returning Heather Watson, whose match was postponed by rain earlier in the day in Paris.
There was also a victory for home favourite Marion Bartoli, who had to dig deep to see off the dangerous Olga Govortsova 7-6 4-6 7-5, saving two match points along the way.
Bartoli said: "It was a very lengthy, tricky day. I started at 11am and then again at 2pm and we finished at 6pm, so it was a very long match and the rain interruption I think was to my disadvantage because I think I was dominating a little bit initially, physically at least.
"Then I think she was able to recoup during the break with the rain. She was playing really well. She missed pretty much nothing.
"So, if I lost this match, I don't think I would have had many regrets, really, because I did the best I could. I was lucky and I chased down the points when that proved necessary. At the end of the day, I won."