Richard Bloomfield in Futures final defeat

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
1:24 PM

Richard Bloomfield reached his third Futures final of the year – at the City of Nottingham Tennis Centre – before losing in two tie-breaks to Warwickshire’s Dan Evans.

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Bloomfield, from Alpington, dropped just one set in four matches en route to the final, but came up just short against Davis Cup team regular Evans.

The tournament was a $10k event and with a world ranking of 371, Bloomfield was seeded second behind eventual conqueror Evans.

The 29-year-old former Hobart High School pupil opened his campaign against the world number 1421 Alan Bevan from North Wales, with a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 win.

Young Frenchman Clement Homs, who ousted Kent’s Matt Short in round one, provided Bloomfield’s toughest test before the final and the Norfolk man found himself a set down after dropping his serve.

A quick change in momentum saw Bloomfield rattle through the second set without the loss of a single game before Homs rediscovered his form from set one and made the third set extremely even.

As the match seemed destined for a final-set tie-break, Bloomfield found an extra gear and broke his opponent’s serve to close out the match 4-6, 6-0, 7-5 and move into his fourth consecutive tournament quarter-final.

In recent weeks, the last eight had brought about the end of Bloomfield’s run, as he was beaten in Futures at Cumberland and Chiswick and a British Tour at Sutton. But the curse was lifted as he steamrolled promising British junior Luke Bambridge in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.

In the most recent of those previous quarter-final losses, Bloomfield had fallen to Surrey’s Tom Burn in three sets, but this time the second seed was out for revenge and successfully negotiated his way through two tricky sets against Burn to reach his first Futures final since February with a 6-4, 7-5 victory.

The tournament ended without a title for Bloomfield as Evans played the big points slightly better in the final to win 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-2).

With the win, Evans moved back inside the top 300 in the world rankings and now sits at 296, while Bloomfield in fact slips to exactly 100 spots lower at 396.

The Norfolk man, who in the past has been third in Britain, now finds himself at number eight in the British rankings.

• Acle’s Olivia Nicholls made her first British Tour semi-final last week at Easton College Tennis Centre; eventually losing in three sets to third seed Natalie Haden-Scott of Surrey 5-7, 6-1, 6-2. Nicholls had beaten Sophia Thomas of Kent and Suffolk’s Ella Monsey in the previous rounds to reach the semis.

Haden-Scott was beaten in the final by top seed Emilia Banos-Gregorians and Suffolk’s Myles Orton suffered a similar fate in the men’s final to Essex’s Robert Carter.

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