Bains pleased fitness prevails in first round of Wimbledon qualifying

Naiktha Bains believes staying power helped her get over the line after a hugely impressive victory in her opening match of Wimbledon Qualifying.

Leeds player Bains, currently world No.311, shocked world No.183 Katerina Zavatska 4-6 6-2 6-3 to progress to the second round in Roehampton.

The 25-year-old was outgunned at times in the opening set, but was able to impose her game from then on, with her greater grass-court guile seeing her edge out her Ukrainian opponent. 

It was a strong performance overall by Bains, but she believes her ability to refocus after being broken to lose the opening set ultimately set her on the path to victory.

“I was pretty happy with it, especially the second and third sets. I think I played my game a bit better in those sets execution wise,” she said. 

“In the first I feel like I had a couple of chances earlier on to break. I feel like I could have, and who knows what would have happened if I had broken there. 

“At the end of the first set I was a bit disappointed with losing my serve fairly easily, but then I did well to refocus and get a decent lead in the second set. It was all about keeping that momentum for me, so I’m glad I managed to do that. 

“I’ve been practicing well and I felt like I knew what I was doing. I knew what I wanted to do, I just wasn’t executing quite the way I wanted. I knew if I just stuck at it and carried on working towards what I wanted, hopefully things would start to turn around, and I would be able to play a bit better.”

Bains next faces a tough test in the form of 29th seed Viktorija Golubic, who was a main draw quarter-finalist at Wimbledon just two years ago.

And ahead of that contest on Wednesday, she is looking to keep building on the solid foundation of her round one contest.

She added: “I think my net game in general, I played that quite well. She [Zavatska] is a great competitor and a tough player; she’ll make you play a lot of balls, so I think my net game was where I stood out today.

“There’s a few things I’ll be working on on the practice court, things to neaten up and tighten. They’re all things I’ve been working on anyway so there’s nothing in particular, it’s just reiterating what I’m working on and keeping it going to put me in the best shape.”

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