Keothavong keen to seize big chance
Anne Keothavong is convinced she and Elena Baltacha have a real opportunity to follow Heather Watson through to round three of Wimbledon.
Watson became the first British woman in 10 years to make the last 32 at SW19 when she breezed past American Jamie Hampton 6-1 6-4 on Wednesday. Twenty-six years have passed since Britain had more than one woman in round three, and the odds are stacked against either Keothavong or Baltacha making it through on Thursday.
Keothavong, victorious over Laura Pous-Tio, takes on French Open finalist Sara Errani and Baltacha locks horns with Petra Kvitova. She said: "Elena plays Petra and I guess that will be a tough match for her, but anyone is beatable on any given day. And I think Petra was struggling in her first-round match."
An injury to her opponent Karin Knapp helped Baltacha to a 4-6 6-4 6-0 win on Tuesday, although the Scot had injury problems of her own.
"Probably not" was Baltacha's response when asked whether she could beat Kvitova, but Keothavong refused to be so negative about her own chances of beating Errani, against whom she has a 1-1 record.
"I'll go into the next match thinking I have a shot at winning," Keothavong added. "She's going to be a tough opponent but I have played her before."
In the men's singles James Ward has the chance to advance to the third round for the first time, although he also faces a tough opponent in 10th seed Mardy Fish. Ward grabbed the nation's attention last summer when he made the last four at Queen's Club before losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The Londoner has failed to build any real momentum since that run and lost in the first round last year, but he showed spirit and determination throughout his 4-6 6-0 3-6 6-3 6-3 win over Spain's Pablo Andujar.
Fish, a quarter-finalist here last year, is the overwhelming favourite to progress, but he has vowed not to underestimate his opponent.
"You can't take anyone lightly," the Californian said. "Andujar had never won a grass-court match before, but he's still a great player. Ward is in the second round for a reason. He had a good year at Queen's last year and he will be tough to beat."