Bloomfield back with two finals and a trophy
It has been an encouraging fortnight for Norfolk professional Richard Bloomfield, who made a significant impression on the AEGON Pro Series – winning his first professional singles Futures event since 2008 and finishing as runner-up in another.
Bloomfield, 28, lost to Hampshire's Josh Goodall in the final at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton before beating Alex Ward to clinch the title in Nottingham – avenging his loss to Goodall along the way.
The final against fifth-seed Ward at the City of Nottingham Tennis Centre went to three sets after Bloomfield dropped the opener in a tie-break. In windy conditions, and after an hour-long break for rain, the Norfolk man's strategy of attacking the net at every opportunity began to pay off as he levelled at a set all.
The final set was more of the same and, after missing his first two match points, Bloomfield sealed victory over the British number thirteen, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4.
After missing out in the final at Roehampton, there was sweet revenge for Bloomfield in the Nottingham semi as he reversed the result against third seed Goodall, who had taken the Roehampton final in straight sets.
Goodall looked on course for his third successive Futures tournament win following a title at Wrexham, but the Norfolk number one found an extra gear and broke Goodall in each set to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
After the final in Nottingham, Bloomfield told the LTA's Richard Joyner: 'The conditions were really tough but I served it out well so that was pleasing. Hopefully this will give me confidence for the rest of the year and the start of next year.'
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Bloomfield's last tournament win was in November 2008, when he defeated Peter Luncanu of Romania 6-2, 7-6 to win the Campden Hill Futures before his career began to be dogged by back problems which saw him slip outside the top 600 players in the world. He is currently ranked 20th in Britain.
A change of racket manufacturer and an extended period of fitness work on his back seem to have helped him turn a corner, although the results from Roehampton and Nottingham came on the lowest rung of the professional ladder and Bloomfield remains realistic, saying: 'These were $10,000 events so you would hope to have a decent run in them – but I haven't won one for three years so that in itself is encouraging.'
• Top Norfolk junior Pippa Horn will travel to Mexico on Friday as part of the British team for the Junior Fed Cup. The complete list of qualifiers is: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, USA.