Bloomfield back in action

Richard Bloomfield's return from a troublesome back injury was far from ideal last week as he crashed out of the $15,000 Futures event in Sheffield in the opening round.

But despite the loss to Ireland's lowly-ranked Colin O'Brien, the British No 5 was pleased to come through a competitive match unscathed.

'I was off the pace, no question about it,' said Bloomfield after the match. 'Having not played a full match since mid-August in the States, I was always likely to struggle but my back feels good and that is the main thing at the moment.'

Bloomfield, seeded fifth for the event in Sheffield, put his 6-3 6-2 loss down to some poor volleying and general rustiness.

'I missed a couple of volleys that gave him a look on my serve each time. My game is all about coming forwards so if I'm not converting the points when I get up the court, it's tough to win.'

After the four month lay-off, the 27-year-old from Alpington has focussed on regaining his fitness in the gym and believes his form will pick up as he gets matches under his belt.

'Practising is great but there's nothing like a match to sharpen you up. Hopefully the confidence to move freely and stretch for every ball will come soon and then I can start to put some results on the board.'

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Ranked 357 in the world, the bulk of Bloomfield's points came in August from a semi-final appearance at the ATP Campbell's Hall of Fame Championships in Rhode Island. He will hope to improve his ranking and move back inside the world's top 250 in time for Wimbledon to earn a spot in the qualifying draw.

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