Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Norfolk professional Richard Bloomfield progressed to the semi-final of a $15k ITF Futures event in Glasgow last week before falling to Bastian Knittel of Germany in straight sets.
The tournament had a strong field that included three of the country’s top five players in Josh Goodall, Jamie Baker and Dan Evans who have all competed for Great Britain in the Davis Cup.
Coming off the back of finals appearances at a Futures and a British Tour event in recent weeks, Bloomfield was able to recover from dropping the second set of his opener with Surrey’s Tom Farquharson ton win 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Astonishingly, another Surrey player and British No 14 Tom Burn failed to win a game off the Norfolk man, who stormed through to the quarter-finals 6-0, 6-0.
There Bloomfield faced a resurgent Jamie Baker who, in recent years, has recovered from a rare blood disease to climb back up to the number three spot in the British rankings behind Andy Murray and Josh Goodall.
Baker was seeded two for the event, but the 29-year-old from Alpington showed the sort of form that propelled him inside the world’s top 200 in 2007 and pulled off one of his best wins for some time to cause an upset of the man from Scotland.
A competitive first set reached a tie-break, in which Bloomfield conjured a pair of mini-breaks to take a one set lead. Sixth-seeded Bloomfield looked in fine form as he underlined his advantage with a break of serve in the second set and finished the job confidently to seal a place in the semi-finals.
Third seed Knittel was yet to drop a set in the event and now stood between Bloomfield and a third consecutive tournament final.
After a slow start, that saw he German break Bloomfield twice to win the first set 6-2, the match became close and inevitably reached a second set tie-break.
It was a case of what might have been for Bloomfield as he held a set point in the tie break but missed an easy smash over the net, before Knittel recovered to win a 10-8 epic and end Bloomfield’s run in the event.
Knittel, ranked 269 in the world, would go on to win the tournament after defeating surprise finalist and qualifier Ashley Hewitt, from Cheshire, in the final, 6-2, 6-4.
Hewitt ranked 1,919 in the world, caused the biggest upset of the week by beating top-seeded Goodall in straight sets.
Bloomfield will now decide whether to compete this week in Cardiff at another ITF Futures as part of the AEGON Pro-Series.