Marina Erakovic was left ruing missed opportunities at Wimbledon after exiting the singles in the second round.
Erakovic lost to 21st seed Roberta Vinci of Italy 6-4 6-3 although she later teamed up with Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn to taste victory in the doubles. They beat the highly-rated Chinese duo of Peng Shuai and Zheng Jie 6-2 6-2.
The world No 49 was playing catch up for most of her match against Vinci and struggled to cope with the aggressive play from the Italian, who won 23 of her 28 approaches to the net.
Erakovic usually wins matches when she gets in a high percentage on her first serve, but that was not the case against Vinci.
She got in 71 per cent of her first serves, well above her usual percentage, but was only able to win 49 per cent of those points.
With one of her main weapons not firing, Erakovic struggled and she admitted afterwards that she could have done more with her first serves.
"I felt I was serving alright but I don't think I was doing enough damage," she said.
"Maybe I wasn't serving in the right spots. I was trying to mix it up, serve to backhand and forehand but she returned well and maybe I had to put a bit more pace onto it."
Erakovic dropped her serve in the match's third game, but three games later the set was 3-3 as the New Zealander broke back, losing just one point.
However, parity was short lived for Erakovic as she was broken again in the next game and ended up conceding the set 6-4.
Erakovic dropped her serve in the opening game of the next set, but by the sixth she was back level at 3-3.
But as in the first set, she was unable to consolidate her break and dropped serve again in the next game.
It was downhill all of the way from that point as Vinci comfortably held serve in the next game and then closed it out, taking her third match point in the following game.
"I had some chances to break back but it was a tough one for me," said Erakovic.
"Roberta played very well, she's a tricky player on the grass, she has a very good slice and she was serving well too.
"She played better and that's disappointing but I've got to look at it, learn from it and move on.
"We played the doubles and had a good win so I'm still at Wimbledon and looking to improve with Tammy in the doubles."
In the second round of the doubles tonight (NZT), Erakovic and Tanasugarn play the Polish duo of Klaudia Jans-Ignacik and Alicja Rosolska, who they coincidently went up against in the second round last year.
That time Erakovic and Tanasugarn made it all of the way through to the semifinal and she doesn't see why they can't repeat that success this year.
"We're capable of doing very well, I don't like to compare things to the years before, but we play well on this stuff and today we played a good match," she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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