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18 Sep 2019, Edition - 1527, Wednesday

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Sports

Tara Moore says astonishing tennis comeback is ‘enormous boost’ to career

The Guardian

Tara Moore, who pulled off one of the great comebacks in tennis history in a £25,000 tournament in Sunderland this week, said the experience has given her career “an enormous boost”.

On Tuesday, the British No 9 came back from 0-6, 0-5 and 30-40, clipping the net with an overhead smash on match point, relieved to see the ball land on the line, to beat France’s Jessika Ponchet in the tie-break, then 6-3 in the deciding set in the first round of an ITF World Tour event.

“I really feel for Jess, she’s a great player and was playing some terrific tennis,” Moore said. “And yeah, she was probably as devastated losing from that position as I would have been. But that’s tennis and we move on. I’ve never been in the situation of being that far ahead and losing but it can happen. I just want to build on that now.”

On Wednesday, they met again in doubles when Moore partnered the American Emina Bektas against Ponchet and the Latvian Diana Marcinkevica, winning 6-1, 6-7 (6), 10-4. “It was a pretty good doubles match and good preparation for the next round,” she said.

In the next round of the singles tournament, Moore plays the German qualifier Yana Morderger – who beat the Romanian, Elena-Teodora Cadar, 7-6 (3), 6-2 – for a place in the quarter-finals. Moore, 26, has struggled to make headway since reaching a career-high of 145 two years ago but expects to move away quickly from her ranking of 479.

Only a couple of matches in the Open era rival Moore’s comeback effort. Lisa Raymond was trailing Lubomira Kurhajcova 0-6, 0-5 and 30-all in the first round of the French Open in 2004, and she had to save two match points to beat the Slovak 0-6, 7-5, 6-3.

The only recorded perfect comeback was in the second round of qualifying at the 1983 US Open when Barbie Bramblett saved 18 match points to come from 0-6, 0-5, 0-40 on her own serve to defeat Ann Hulbert.

Moore’s heroics arrived too late to press her case for inclusion in the Great Britain Federation Cup squad in the World Group II play-off against Kazakhstan, which starts on 20 April at the Copper Box Arena in London. Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Katie Boulter, Harriet Dart and Katie Swan will bid to reach the World Group for the first time.

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