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Wimbledon   28 jun 2007 R64: O'Brien (154) 6-0 6-1 

Ronald Atkin, Wimbledon.org, 28 juni 2007

Britain's O'Brien Crushed by Krajicek

The gulf in class between British ambitions and the professional reality of the women's tennis tour was starkly highlighted as Katie O'Brien, the last surviving woman from the host country and newly-installed British number one, was crushed 6-0 6-1 by Holland's Michaella Krajicek in exactly an hour.

So, with the second round of both singles events still far from complete because of weather delays, Tim Henman was by early afternoon on the fourth day the last British hope remaining, the worst British showing at Wimbledon for 22 years.

Having won one round at the Eastbourne tournament last week, O'Brien's ranking climbed to 154 and after her first round victory here it will improve further to around 120. But, as she readily admitted, her opponent, three years younger but seeded 31 here, was "a step up in class to what I've been used to and I was a little bit overwhelmed by that."

As O'Brien further conceded, in effect she beat herself, perpetrating 29 unforced errors, including seven double faults. All Krajicek was required to do was to keep the ball in play and await the inevitable mistake from the other side of the net.

O'Brien, who comes from Yorkshire, is a bit hitter but not yet a particularly accurate one. The occasional spectacular winner which roused a crowd willing her to do well was usually followed by gross errors.

The first set slipped away in 25 minutes and though she made a better contest of it in the second set, O'Brien managed to get to break point only once on Krajicek's serve.

As the Dutch girl pointed out, O'Brien's serves "were going exactly into my hitting zone", so she was never made to feel uncomfortable at any point in the match.

"I probably beat myself throughout most of the match," said a disappointed O'Brien. "Today was a bit of a reality check, it's pretty clear there are a lot of things I have to work on but hopefully I can crack the top 100 sooner rather than later."

On a day when the news for Britain was as bleak as the weather there remains much to be done before that happens.

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Britain's O'Brien Crushed by Krajicek 28 juni 2007
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