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2003 January 13 - Baltacha out of Australian Open

Our very own Elena Baltacha crashed out of the 2003 Australian Open in the first round 6-1 6-4 to the powerful Alexandra Stevenson of the USA.

Elena is still recovering from liver damage sustained last year, and is trying to get back to full fitness, yet still managed a spirited performance.

After the match Elena said:

"I am very grateful they (Australian Open) have given me a wildcard, it has given me a great experience.

"I am going home as soon as possible. There is a tournament in a few weeks time. I haven't really had the opportunity to get some practice in.

"I felt fine, I am much stronger now. It annoys me, I have to be patient. The doctors say it could take a couple of years for my liver to get back to normal. I'm probably 80% fit."

Due to the injury absence of both Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski, Elena was the only British player to represent in this years tournament. Thank you Elena!

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