Wimbledon Day Two: Baltacha vs Knapp
Posted on June 26, 2012 by Sam Foster
It’s difficult to know what is more worrying between Elena Baltacha being made favourite for this match and the recent realisation that there is a tennis academy in her name. It is astounding to think that a woman who has barely scratched the surface of mediocrity in the game has been rewarded with a legacy of her own, but the real sympathy has to lie with the poor girls that have been enrolled.
Young sporting lights need to have someone close to them to be inspired by and look up to and unless their aspirations are to struggle to post any consistent results, reguarly fail to reach the top-100 and never even threaten winning a tournament then Baltacha is not the right person for such a role. Alas this is the diseased state of the British game, where inadequacy is pardoned and failure rewarded.
Alarmingly, this is Baltacha’s 11th Wimbledon and any casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that at some point in more than a decade the limited Brit would have won a few matches. This is not the case as in all those appearances Baltacha has only reached the third round once, which is just embarrassing considering that for long periods she was the British number one.
All that being said, our adopted tennis star has drawn a relatively easy tie in the form of world number 112 Karin Knapp who lies 11 placed behind her in the rankings. However, although Knapp is no world beater, considering Baltacha’s record at her ‘favourite’ Slam then there is definite value in the unassuming Italian.
Knapp is primarily a clay-court player but she was in excellent form before failing to make it to the main draw of the French Open, winning six matches on her way to the semi-final in Estoril. Baltacha has no form line that can even compete with that performance and it is surprising that she is not at least sharing favouritism.
The selection here has to be a straight win on Karin Knapp to once again send Baltacha out of the main draw before Andy Murray has even hit a competitive ball.