Naiktha Bains insists she is ready to build on her game-changing Wimbledon experience after falling to a quarter-final defeat alongside Maia Lumsden in the women’s doubles.
The Leeds star and Lumsden had made history by defying their wildcard status to reach the last eight, becoming the first all-British women’s doubles pair to reach that stage since 1983.
They had already beaten a seeded duo – 11th seeds Anna Danilina and Xu Yifan – in their opening round contest, though faced a stern test against third seeds Elise Mertens and Storm Hunter on Wednesday.
Mertens is a former doubles No.1 and a three-time Grand Slam winner, and was the dominant player on court in the first set as she and Australian Hunter broke twice to claim the opener.
And the third seeds – the highest ranked pairing left in the draw – continued to show their class in the second set, staying on the front foot to claim a 6-2 6-1 win.
Bains said: “They’re not the third seeds for nothing, and they played well. We didn’t get off to the best start, we’re a little disappointed with how we played out there.
“We just wanted to put on a better show, but they ran away with it really – full credit to them, they played well.
“It looks by the score there was a big difference, but if we’re honest, the way we felt, we feel we can be at that level. We just need to use the experience this week and the confidence, and come back better.”
Lumsden added: “Obviously it gives us huge confidence that we’ve won matches at this level, and looking forward that’s going to be huge for us. It didn’t go our way today, but they’re one of the top doubles teams in the world and they played really well.”
A run to the last eight will be significant for Bains not only in terms of prize money, but also in terms of ranking,
Following on from a season that has seen them win lower levels titles together, the duo are now hoping to bring their renewed confidence onto the WTA Tour.
“We can now play at the level we need to play at to get back to this level next year,” added Bains.
“We got into our first WTA event through the acceptance list as a team in Warsaw, and we’re entering in Prague the week after. We’re going to try and use this now that our rankings are higher, and play that level of events as much as we can.
“We’ll see where it takes us, but hopefully we can get back into Slams on our own rankings.”
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