Elena Baltacha 'happy' despite comeback loss

Former British number one Elena Baltacha was upbeat despite failing to complete her first match in nine months following a serious ankle injury.

The Scot, 29, trailed Canada's Sharon Fichman 7-5 4-6 1-5 at the ITF clay event in Pelham, USA, when she retired.

"Had my opportunities. I nearly had her but unfortunately the body conked out!! Loved every second of it though. So happy to be back," she said on Twitter. 

Baltacha will travel to Argentina with Britain's Fed Cup squad next week.

GB players' WTA rankings

  • 39 - Laura Robson
  • 41 - Heather Watson
  • 154 - Johanna Konta
  • 184 - Anne Keothavong
  • 208 - Tara Moore
  • 209 - Elena Baltacha

"Argentina are definitely not going to be a pushover," Baltacha told BBC Sport.

"On paper we are the better team but they have the advantage of playing at home, and in front of the home crowd who are going to be extremely loud. We're also pretty sure they will try to make the clay court play as slow as possible!

"But we are a very strong team and have a strong team spirit, so we will all pull together and support each other through whatever might be thrown our way. I'm so pumped and cannot wait to get out there."

With Heather Watson absent as she recovers from glandular fever, Baltacha could be called upon to play a more active role than in the last round when she travelled to Israel with the team in a non-playing capacity.

Baltacha returned to action on Wednesday for the first time since she lost to Ana Ivanovic at London 2012 in July, after which she was sidelined and required foot surgery in October.

"After the Olympics, that was it," she told BBC Look East this week. "I was coaching and I was happy to be at home. Watching the US Open didn't really faze me at all. I thought, 'I'm not there, and that's fine.'

"But then after the surgery I realised I do really love it, I think I can still get out there and do some more and achieve many more things. Watching the Australian Open hurt me much more than I thought. I've definitely got that desire and that want again."

Baltacha has slipped to 209 in the world and sixth in Britain, and in her absence Laura Robson has taken the British number one spot while Heather Watson became the first British woman to win a WTA title since 1988 last year.

"Long-term, I want to get my number one spot back," said Baltacha. "It's going to be hard, of course - I'm 30 this year and they're only [19] and 20.

"They're doing very well, they're on their path and achieving a lot of great things, but it will be great to be back and mixing in around with them."