Erakovic determined after defeat

DAVID LONG IN MELBOURNE
Last updated 05:00 18/01/2013
Marina Erakovic plays a backhand during her match against Alize Cornet of France.
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HEARTBREAKER: Marina Erakovic plays a backhand during her match against Alize Cornet of France.

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This year's Australian Open turned out to be one of disappointments for Marina Erakovic.

Yesterday she and her doubles partner, Heather Watson from Guernsey, lost 6-4 6-0 to ninth seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld from Germany and the Czech Republic's Kveta Peschke.

This was three days after Erakovic lost a three and half hour match to Alize Cornet from France, going down 10-8 in the third set.

Erakovic and Watson are a good doubles combination, they won two WTA tournaments last year, but they were unable to get past their doubles specialist opponents yesterday, in a match played in 37 degree heat, which led to one ball kid collapsing on court.

The first set was close and there were three breaks of serve at the start and despite facing three break points in the 10th game Groenefeld was able to serve it out.

The less said about the second set the better, because it was just horrible to watch.

"I felt both of us were a little nervous at the start and we didn't really settle into the match," Erakovic said.

"We had a couple of chances to take it to 5-5 on Groenefeld's serve, but it was tough and they played really well.

"Peschke was solid and was hitting the ball well while I was struggling to do much at the net with Heather's serve because they were really going after it.

"In the second set they just ran away with it."

Erakovic will head back to Auckland for a few days off before heading to her next WTA tournament in Pattaya, Thailand. After that she'll represent New Zealand in the Fed Cup in Kazakhstan, then possibly go to Doha followed by a number of tournaments in USA.

"It is a busy next couple of months and the body is good," Erakovic said.

"This Australian Open has been really disappointing, but that's sometimes the way it goes.

"I was really pretty down after my singles match, but I feel I have some good people around me and I can still play some good tennis, so I shouldn't get too down.

"Life goes on and I'll keep at it."

As Erakovic made it to the second round in Melbourne last year, she can expect to drop from her current ranking of 68 when they're updated after the Australian Open.

She reached 39 midway through last year, it would be good to see her that high again by Wimbledon, but she says she doesn't have any aims for the season ahead.

"I don't have any specific ranking goals, I want to keep improving. If I do that and stay healthy the ranking will take care of itself," she said.
 
"Obviously I'd like to do better in the Grand Slams, but I am sure any player would say the same thing."

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