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Punishing preparation pays off for Razzano

France's Virginie Razzano is one of 12 winners in the final round of ladies' qualifying
by Helen Gilbert
Thursday 20 June 2013

Former world No. 16 Virginie Razzano expressed her delight at qualifying for a place in the Wimbledon main draw following her convincing 6-1, 6-4 victory over Corinna Dentoni on Thursday.

The French player, who reached the fourth round in 2009, will be making her 12th appearance at the Championships, which she described as her ‘domain’.

“I’m very happy…for me it’s very important to be in the main draw,” she told Wimbledon.com. “It’s a big surprise for me to come back into qualifying. I [last] played qualifying maybe eight or ten years [ago].

Perhaps best known for her defeat of Serena Williams in the first round of Roland Garros 2012, Razzano spent much of last year contending with a right hip injury, which saw her ranking inevitably slip.

Since then the 30-year-old, who now sits at 161 in the world, has focused on recovery. For the best part of five months she has worked on boosting her overall fitness and strength levels through punishing gym routines.

“I had injury on my hip last year and I didn’t defend a lot of points [which is] why my ranking was down but I come back, I take time,” she continued. “My body is ok now, no injury, I work a lot, a lot of gym, four hours per day, Monday to Saturday sometimes less.”

This afternoon Razzano looked in fine form as she set about the destruction of her 23-year-old Italian opponent. At time she struggled with her ball toss but it did little to hinder the outcome of her service games, which she picked off with ease.

Although Dentoni did her best to lose her service game at 4-5 in the second – she served two double faults, one of which gave Razzano a match point – she survived. When Razzano hit what appeared to be an ace on the first of a further three match points, the contest looked to be over. But a late wide call scuppered any idea of celebration. A netted drive backhand on the very next point did little to help Razzano’s cause but the contest was eventually decided when Dentoni blasted a backhand into the bottom of the net, just as the rain began to fall.

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