There were encouraging signs for Richard Bloomfield last week as he won a round at the $15,000 futures tournament in Germany, the second event of his return from a back injury.
Bloomfield, who admitted he was off the pace in his first tournament of the year, knocked out Austrian Max Radischnigg 6-3, 6-2 before falling in straight sets to Michel Dornbusch of Germany.
As fourth seed, Bloomfield was expected to go deeper into the tournament but the British number five put things into perspective afterwards. 'I've won a match against a decent player and felt no ill-effects so it can only be a positive thing. Just like in Sheffield the other week I wasn't as sharp as I'd like to be but it's coming back.'
Match fitness is the major issue facing Bloomfield, but the 27-year-old from Alpington was also experimenting with new rackets.
'I'm just trying a few things out to see if there's something more suited to my game' he said.
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'The guys out there just hit the ball so big now you need something that's going to let you send it back just as hard.'
Bloomfield returns to Cheltenham this week to practice and work with his coach Pete Russell before returning to action later this month.
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Easton College Tennis Centre ran an 18 and under inter county event as a warm for the upcoming AEGON County Cup with two other east region counties invited to take part. As the home county, Norfolk entered two boys' teams and one girl's team to take on Suffolk and Bedfordshire. In a competitive boy's event, the two Norfolk teams were beaten into third and fourth place however the girls' side fared much better. The team of Katie McKenna, Dayna Rice, Meg Wright and Bronte Farrage finished first and walked away with the trophies.
AEGON 18 and Under Inter County Cup takes place on the weekend of March 4 and 6 with Norfolk in Group 4 for girls and Group 5 for boys.