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Wimbledon: Bejenaru is feeling confident of passing first hurdle

By John Flack

Karola Bejenaru has landed a favourable first round draw at Junior Wimbledon qualifying as she begins her campaign today against Great Britain's Holly Hutchinson.

The Windsor player's 17-year-old opponent was handed a wild-card entry into qualifying and, at 209, is more than 100 places lower in the ITF world rankings.

Bejenaru says she is looking forward to the challenge as she attempts to get the two wins she needs to make it into the first round proper.

"It is a good draw for me but I know from experience that there is very little between the players in these tournaments and it will be important to get things right mentally on the court, be positive and keep focused." she said. The east Belfast teenager made a first round exit last year however she has made good progress and after winning a round of qualifying at Roland Garros, is now ranked 103 in the world at U-18 level.

The 17-year-old's coach, Przemek Stec, said: "Hopefully Karola's experience at the French Open will stand to her as she was also able to watch some of the Grand Slam players practising and she saw at first hand that even the best make mistakes and that made her feel better."

If she comes through today's clash then Bejenaru is likely to face eighth-seeded qualifier Lucie Kankova, a Slovak ranked 80th in the world.

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