by Dan Wynne
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Norwich’s Will Davies had a fine result last week as he came through three rounds of qualifying to win the main draw of the Tennis Pro Project Cup in Jurmala, Latvia.
It took eight consecutive wins to claim the title and incredibly, five matches in a row went to three sets.
Davies, 13, cruised past his first qualifying opponent, local lad Toms Rolis, 6-0, 6-1 to get his week started before dumping out qualifying seed Simon Norvaisis from Lithuania 6-0, 6-3.
The first real challenge for the Norfolk player came in the final qualifying round against a second home player, Maksims Nesins, who claimed the second set before Davies stepped up a level to win the decider 6-3.
Davies’ place in the main draw was now booked and he would face the first of three Russian opponents over the week, in the first round.
For the first time, Davies found himself a set down and would have to dig deep to win the next two 6-3, 7-5 and progress to round two.
It was in the second round in fact that Davies emerged as a real contender to the title as he ousted second seed, Philipp Klimov from Russia in yet another three set match. The first set went to a tie-break and crucially, Davies got his nose in front and take it 9-7.
His opponent fought back well to take the second set 6-4 before Davies responded again to reverse that score line in the decider.
Estonian Artur Lindmaa, the tournament’s seventh seed, was the only other player to take the first set from Davies in the quarter-final but by this stage the Norfolk player was well accustomed to fighting for a result and responded to reach the semi-final with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory.
Fourth seed Ilya Strukov, Davies’ last Russian opponent, competed brilliantly for two sets but despite pegging Davies back to force a decider, the familiar sight of Davies winning a third set came true yet again and he stormed away to book his final spot 7-5, 6-7, 6-1.
Davies’ opponent in the final was a second Estonian, top seed Kristjann Tamm, but on this occasion there was to be no third set necessary as Davies sealed the title with a solid 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Davies picks up his first 60 Tennis Europe under 14 ranking points with the victory and gets on the ranking list at number 439.
• Norfolk’s Richard Bloomfield bowed out in the first round of the latest AEGON Pro Series event at Loughborough yesterday.
He was beaten 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 by fellow British player, youngster Ashley Hewitt.