Keothavong takes swipe at LTA, eyes tour win
Keothavong takes swipe at LTA, eyes tour win AFP/File – Britain's Anne Keothavong plays a shot against Russia's Anna Chakvetadze during the opening day …
LONDON (AFP) – Anne Keothavong celebrated becoming the first British woman in 16 years to break into the world's top 50 by setting her sights on winning a title on the WTA tour before the end of the year.
Keothavong, born in London to parents from Laos, has risen more than 80 places in the last year to reach 48th in the latest WTA rankings, making her the first British women to crack the top 50 since Jo Durie in 1993.
"There's still a lot more work to do as I want to climb further up the rankings and pick up a WTA Tour title somewhere this year," Keothavong told the BBC.
"The standard of the top players is very high and intense but that doesn't scare me, it just makes me want to be even better so I can play like them."
Brought up on the public courts of east London, the 25-year-old has climbed up the rankings at an age when many of her rivals are going into decline, and she admitted that she had repeatedly questioned whether she should continue in the sport.
Keothovang's career has been blighted by injuries and she also believes she would have advanced faster at an earlier stage with better management from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).
The LTA is one of the richest national tennis federations in the world as a result of the huge profits made by Wimbledon but it has struggled to translate those resources into a steady stream of top players.
"If I knew what I know now I could've been in the top 50 years ago but I was influenced by some unprofessional people, which didn't help, although ultimately it's down to the individual," Keothovang said.
"I'm now working with coaches I trust and, with their help, I'll continue to improve further. I still believe there are unprofessional people working at the LTA and it saddens me because I want to see British tennis get even better."
What do they have all that money for then