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Battling Bejenaru loses out to Slovakian star

By John Flack

Karola Bejenaru's dream of playing at Wimbledon for the first time was shattered yesterday as she lost in second round qualifying for the junior tournament at Roehampton.

The 17-year-old Windsor player had the misfortune to be drawn against a more experienced opponent in rising Slovakian star Viktoria Kuzmova and bowed out in straight sets.

However she produced a battling display against a player ranked inside the top 500 on the professional tour, going down 7-5, 6-2.

Bejenaru fought back superbly in the first set after trailing 5-2 but she was unable to maintain the momentum in the second as Kuzmova booked her place in the main draw.

"It's disappointing to lose and miss out on the chance to play at Wimbledon but she was a little too strong for me unfortunately." said Bejenaru.

"It was always going to be a difficult draw for me as she had won a couple of professional tournaments this year and therefore had not been playing many junior events which meant her lower under 18 ranking was misleading."

Bejenaru is unlikely to take part in qualifying for the US Junior Open according to her coach Przemek Stec and she is now likely to concentrate on the professional tour.

"Wimbledon, being a lot closer to home, and the French Open were much easier options for Karola but it's doubtful she will travel to America." he said.

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