Thursday, January 10, 2013
The 2013 campaign began well for Norfolk professional Richard Bloomfield as he took the title at the first AEGON British Tour event of the year.
Competing at the Graves Centre in Sheffield, Bloomfield defeated British number five Dan Evans in the final to win his first title on the British Tour since an event at the same venue in February last year.
In a draw that boasted the talents of Evans and British number two Josh Goodall, both regular members of the British Davis Cup team, Bloomfield was the form player throughout.
Seeded three, the Norfolk man was awarded a bye through the opening round before taking on Chris Anguelov from Middlesex in round two.
Anguelov had a win under his belt after defeating qualifier Mehdi Naqvi, but found Bloomfield to be an entirely different proposition and a 6-3, 6-1 win for the seed set up a quarter-final with Cheshire’s David Porter. Bloomfield’s latest opponent faired only slightly better than Anguelov and picked up one more game for a 6-2, 6-3 scoreline.
The semi-final was expected to be a clash between Bloomfield and top seed Josh Goodall, but during his quarter-final match with youngster Tom Farquharson, Goodall was forced to retire when 4-2 down in the first set, leaving Bloomfield with an easier task on paper.
Farquharson is a talented player, however, and forced the former top 200 player to work hard for his place in the final.
After a straightforward first set, the second was closely contested before Bloomfield found the all-important break of serve late on to book a final spot with a 6-3, 7-5 victory.
His opponent in the final, Warwickshire’s Evans, had beaten him in successive finals in September and October 2012 but this time Bloomfield was able to stop that trend in some style.
Evans, ranked inside the world’s top 300, had no response to Bloomfield’s big hitting game and the third seed ran away with the opening set, 6-0. The second set was closer, but the tone of the match had been set and before long Bloomfield served out the match.
In the ladies event, eighth seed Pippa Horn from Norfolk won her first round 6-2, 7-5 against Georgia Craven from Yorkshire but was unable to play her second round match.