Keothavong: I blew chance

British No2 laments missed opportunity after defeat in second round of Australian Open

BRITISH No2 Anne Keothavong admitted blowing a golden opportunity after coming within six points of shocking 30th seed Andrea Petkovic at the Australian Open.

Keothavong, who has never been further than round two in Melbourne, won the first set 2-6 and was 15-30 ahead at 5-5 in the second before capitulating to lose the next two sets 7-5, 6-0.

The Londoner (inset) spoke after the match about the decisive moment, calling it “a clear turning point”. She added: “At 15-30 she just kicked a serve in and I kind of hit a nothing return. It just went into the bottom of the net.”

Keothavong had until then seemed in control and was left to wonder what might have been. She said: “The opportunity was there, I just didn’t take it today.”

There was another British casualty on day three as Elena Baltacha was dumped out in straight sets against seven-time grand slam winner Justine Henin.

The British No1 never looked like competing with the Belgian former world No1 who sealed a comfortable win 6-1, 6-3.

Baltacha admitted a lack of composure had cost her: “I think I was trying to overhit it, trying to go for tighter margins, and in the second set I realised I didn’t have to.”

World No1 Caroline Wozniacki made it safely into the third round with a ruthless victory over American Vania King 6-1, 6-0.

In the men’s draw Roger Federer battled past Frenchman Gilles Simon in a tense five-setter.

Federer, the defending champion, took the first two sets before Simon fought back to level the match. The Swiss eventually sealed victory 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3.

Novak Djokovic, third seed and the winner here three years ago, is also through to the next round after beating Croatian Ivan Dodig in four sets 7-5, 6-7 (8/10), 6-0, 6-2.