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Written By JAKE COURTEPATTE
It's an exit she won't soon forget.
Caledon's Erin Routliffe fell out of the prestigious Wimbledon Championship in London on Thursday in devastating fashion, in a doubles match that had victory within her grasp four times.
Teaming up with America's Madison Brengle, the combo fell in three sets by scores of 4-6, 7-5, and 6-1 to Georgia's Oksana Kalashnikova and China's Xinyun Han.
Yet it was in the second set, were the Routliffe's game went wrong, failing to convert on four straight serves with the match point in hand.
“I think I let the moment get the better of me,” said and emotional Routliffe in a press conference following the match. “Obviously I was happy to be in the draw, because I didn't think I was going to be, but then you start thinking during the matches.
“I just let it get to me a bit and then they started hitting a lot more of their shots and taking more control and we were on the back foot from 5-5 in the second.”
Routliffe picked up just under $12,000 for her efforts.
“It is tough, but this is tennis, it's what you have to deal with every day,” she said. “So you try not to think about it and we weren't thinking about it too much.
“They outplayed us in the third set, it was just the momentum. They got a swing of momentum and started feeling a lot more confident, whereas in the first set and 90 per cent of the second, they weren't really sure what to do.”
Switching allegiances to the New Zealand national team last season, her debut in the Fed Cup in February helped her rocket more than two hundred places in the world rankings since the start of the year.
The New Zealand-born Routliffe, born on an around-the-world sailing adventure to her parents Robert and Catherine, joined the Caledon Tennis Club at the age of six, falling in love with the sport after trying her hand as a multi-sport athlete.
It's the second first round exit for Routliffe, who first made her appearance at the prestigious tournament last July, where she and Englishwoman Freya Christie fell in the opening round to the eventual champion Czechs Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
She earned multiple All-American and All-SEC honours during her time with the Alabama Crimson Tide, where Routliffe earned her degree in public relations.
One of the most successful doubles players in Alabama history, Routliffe won back-to-back NCAA Doubles Championships in 2014 and 2015, and finished as the runner-up in last year's doubles championship match.
She was also a part of the Crimson Tides' first SEC Championship squad in 2014.
Her sister, Tess Routliffe, is an accomplished Paralympic swimmer current training for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
Post date: 2019-07-11 11:29:45
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