First title for Baltacha

Elena Baltacha has won the first professional title of her career after beating Irish number one Kelly Liggan to win the £16,000 (€25,000) tournament in Felixstowe.

Elena Baltacha has won the first professional title of her career after beating Irish number one Kelly Liggan to win the £16,000 (€25,000) tournament in Felixstowe.

The 18-year-old who was also appearing in her first senior final, lost the first set 6-4, but recovered and removed the unforced errors from her game to take the next two sets 6-2 6-3.

"I just can't believe what's happened to me in the last couple of weeks," said Baltacha.

"That was tough out there - I'm mentally exhausted after all the ups and downs I've had recently."

Alan Jones, Baltacha's coach for the last three years, said: "This week has been educational for Bally.

"Without being too negative, the grass here isn't exactly Eastbourne or Wimbledon, is it?

"She's the sort of player who needs a perfect bounce to play well, but she's had to learn how to be flexible and not just smack the crap out of everything."

Baltacha, who will move up to British number two behind Julie Pullin when the new world rankings appear on Monday, travels to Spain for two events before returning home for a week of rest and practice in preparation for US Open qualifying in New York next month.

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