ITF circuit final defeat is best of the year for Richard Bloomfield

Richard Bloomfield lost in the final of a $15k futures tournament in Zagreb – his best result on the ITF circuit in 2012 so far.

Bloomfield strung four wins together to reach the final, where he lost to Marek Michalicka after leading by a set. The Norfolk man had looked on course for victory after taking the opening set 6-3, but Michalicka, who ousted top seed Josh Goodall from Hampshire early on, came storming back to take the next two 6-2, 6-0.

Despite the defeat, it was an encouraging week for Bloomfield, who upset second seed Mirza Basic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in his first match of the week. The 28-year-old from Alpington showed glimpses of his old self as he powered past Basic, who is ranked 200 places higher at number 281 in the world.

A comprehensive 6-3, 6-1 defeat of Basic's compatriot Aldin Setkic in round two led to a first ITF quarter-final appearance of the year for Bloomfield and he improved on that with victory over a third Bosnian, Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.

French qualifier Jules Marie was swept aside in straight sets in the semi-final before the loss to Michalicka brought his fine run to an end. Bloomfield now has the option of a second tournament at the same venue to capitalise on his recent momentum.

• Half-term brought success for 13-year-old Maria Andrews who picked up a pair of titles at a grade three tournament in Bromley.

Andrews won the 14u and 16u events without the loss of a set including a win against Surrey's Melanie Vaxevanakis in the 16u final.

Most Read

After falling 4-0 down to her older opponent, Andrews played some clever tennis to turn the set around and win it 7-5 and, with momentum on her side, she took the second set 6-3 to claim the title.

Daisy Huglestone from Kent was out for revenge following a loss to Andrews in the 12u final two years ago but the Norfolk youngster produced a fine display to win 6-3, 6-1.

• Norfolk's 18u girls' team topped their 12 counties championships group over the weekend without losing a single rubber.

The team of Amy Partridge, Olivia Nicholls, Maddie Brooks and Bronte Farrage secured a valuable haul of points for Norfolk after the boys' team could only finish third.