SOUTHAMPTON tennis ace Gabriella Taylor has come successfully through the first round of the Wimbledon qualifiers.

After an epic two hours and 12-minute battle, she won 7-5, 7-6 (tie break 10-8), against experienced Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino who sits 130 in the WTA rankings and climbed as high as 40 in 2006.

After being 4-1 down in the first set, 18-year-old Taylor picked up her game and played some very clever, solid tennis in a match which, for grass, contained some phenomenally long rallies.

She had three match points prior to the tie break but couldn’t quite close the match out at that point.

The win pushes Taylor’s WTA ranking up to around 364 – a massive improvement on her 1020 position last October when she began her comeback from injury. It is a meteoric climb for a British player in such a short space of time.

She now faces 27-year-old Vania King of the USA who has achieved a highest ranking of 50 and currently sits 156th.