Baltacha buoyant despite defeat

Elena Baltacha hailed 2011 as the best year of her career despite losing to Japanese Kimiko Date-Krumm in the final of the US dollars 100,000 ITF event in Poitiers.
Baltacha lost 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 but is still likely to move back inside the world's top 50 when the rankings are updated on Monday.
The 28-year-old said: "My big goal for the year was to defend the ranking points I had coming off and keep my ranking up, so to have done that and got back inside the top 50 again feels like a really big achievement.
"I knew that I would have to improve this year to do that and I've done that. This has definitely been the best year of my career, no question, even better than 2010."
Speaking about Sunday's match, Baltacha added: "She played really, really well.
"Her level didn't drop at all, so once she had got back into the first set she really didn't give me many chances.
"I have massive respect for her and what she's achieved. Her level of tennis is still incredibly high and she is still hungry. It showed."
 
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