Bloomfield shows signs of promise

Daniel WynneRichard Bloomfield had a positive week in Kaarst, Germany at the $15,000 futures tournament as he reached his first quarter-final of 2010. A tight first round win over Russian Denis Matsukevitch was followed by a more comfortable straight sets defeat of Germany's Kevin Deden, but his run was ended by Daniel Danilovic of Montenegro.Daniel Wynne

Richard Bloomfield had a positive week in Kaarst, Germany at the $15,000 futures tournament as he reached his first quarter-final of 2010.

A tight first round win over Russian Denis Matsukevitch was followed by a more comfortable straight sets defeat of Germany's Kevin Deden, but his run was ended by Daniel Danilovic of Montenegro.

Bloomfield began his match with Matsukevitch slowly and dropped the opening set 6-4 but the Norfolk man showed some fighting spirit, typical of recent weeks, by levelling the match in a second set tie-break.

A crucial break at the end of the decider handed Bloomfield the third set 7-5 and set up a second round match with German qualifier Deden who had four wins under his belt in Kaarst already.

There was no sluggish start this time from Bloomfield as he eased through the first set 6-3.

Deden had come through some tough matches to reach this point and refused to roll over, but the world number 530's resistance crumbled at 5-5 in the second set as Bloomfield stepped up a gear to close out the match 6-3, 7-5.

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The British number 10 was on course for a quarter-final match up with top seeded Niels Desein of Belgium but the favourite fell to qualifier Danilovic to give Bloomfield a surprise opponent.

A first set tie-break was won by Bloomfield who produced an array of huge winners to seize a couple of mini-breaks of serve.

Danilovic, 22, came roaring back in the second set to break Bloomfield's serve and force yet another final set, the fifth for the Norfolk man in his six matches so far this year.

For the second week in a row Bloomfield's demise came in an an epic final set tie-break, this time losing 9-7 after holding match points at 6-4.

Bloomfield was upbeat about his performances in the first two rounds.

"It was good to get another couple of wins under my belt," he said. "I've gone a round further each week during January.

"Of course it's disappointing to lose again when you're one point away from the semis but that's just match sharpness and not playing the big points as well as I would normally."

Norfolk's teen star Pippa Horn made her presence felt at the 18 and Under Grand Prix Masters event at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton as she reached the quarter-finals stage.

Horn, 14, is still three years young for the 18 and under age group but headed the leader board coming into the tournament after two main draw semi-final appearances.

A stunning 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Kyria Dunford from Sussex, ranked number two nationally for 16 and under girls, put Horn into the quarter-finals where she lost a three-set tussle with eventual finalist Tiffany William from Middlesex.

Horn, a Norfolk Rising Star, has received funding from the Norfolk Sports and Cultural Foundation, which supports young talented athletes and artists on the road to London 2012.