Doncaster’s Tara Moore has what it takes to be among the best in the world – according to the Grand Slam champion who put her out of Wimbledon on Friday night.
The 23-year-old from Rossington lost in the second round of the ladies’ singles but was far from disgraced in front of a lively ‘Tara Army’ crowd around Court 3, losing 1-6 6-2 3-6 to the number 13 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia.
“She started slow but once she got going she played very well,” said Kuznetsova, one of the main forces on the women’s tour for the past decade. “She has all the weapons to do well, to push on, to get right up there. She had the crowd and she made it tough for me.”
Moore wasn’t at the races during a rain interrupted first set, but came out all guns blazing in the second playing some sublime tennis which Kuznetsova simply had no answer for.
The decisive third set saw Moore waste two break points at 3-5 and with Kuznetsova serving at 15-40, the Russian winning the next four consecutive points to clinch the tie.
“For a lot of the first set I was trying to get into the match and it took me too long to do that today, but the crowd definitely got into my head and helped me,” said Moore. “They really did pump me up a lot.
“In the second set I really did play some very good tennis and that is how I’ve been playing for most of the grass court season. That is the level I think I’m at now.
“She (Kuznetsova) played a better third set than she did the second set, and in the end it was tough. That’s why she’s ranked where she is. She’s a great champion and I give all credit to her. I gave it everything in the second set but she came out fighting again.”
Kuznetsova showed all her experience in more ways than one at the beginning of the third set, taking a legitimate but timely bathroom break just when Moore was threatening to take the match by the scruff of the neck.
“It’s tennis, it’s in the rules, it’s allowed,” said Moore who refused to be drawn into any accusations of gamesmanship. “Sometimes you just don’t want to stop, but these things happen. You’ve just got to deal with it.”