No wildcard for Bloomfield at Wimbledon

Norfolk's Richard Bloomfield was dealt a blow last week when the Wimbledon tournament committee decided not to award the British number six a wildcard into qualifying for this year's championships.

The 28-year-old from Alpington will feel hard done-by, as players either side of him in the rankings were handed a berth in the draw.

In fact, all other British players inside the world's top 400 were given a wildcard into either the qualifying or the main draw, leaving Bloomfield, the world number 343, as the only active and uninjured player not to receive one.

Perennial Wimbledon flop Alex Bogdanovic has been given a place in the qualifying draw along with Scotland's Jamie Baker, both of whom have slipped below Bloomfield in the world rankings.

A possible committee stance is that the bulk of Bloomfield's points have come from a single tournament last year and that he has failed to add any significant amount since, however, considering the event in question was a semi-final appearance at the Newport Hall of Fame Championships on grass, one might argue his case further.


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With his big serve and flat ball striking, Bloomfield's potential to achieve results on grass is evident; he remains the only Brit in the top 400 to win a main draw match at Wimbledon, with the obvious exception of world number 4 Andy Murray.

Only last week, Bloomfield came through his qualifying section at the Challenger event in Nottingham; a section which included Liam Broady and Josh Milton who have both been given the opportunity to qualify for Wimbledon. Oliver Golding, the world junior number 4, has a spot in the qualifying event despite his senior ranking of 982.

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The motive for providing up and coming players like Golding the chance to gain valuable experience in the qualifying event is obvious but, less apparent is the logic behind rewarding Baker and Bogdanovic for their ranking slides whilst snubbing Bloomfield.

Admittedly, injury has hampered Bogdanovic, whilst Baker should be commended for his comeback from a rare blood disease which stopped him in his tracks in 2008.

However, Bloomfield's ability to pick up points has also been limited by a troublesome back problem for the last two years and after prolonged rehabilitation work it seems, for the time being anyway, he is in shape to compete regularly.

It is this inconsistency in the wildcard allocation process that will perhaps infuriate the Norfolk man who elected not to compete in the play-off event for the remaining wild card, but instead to concentrate on his doubles campaign in Nottingham, where he and partner Tim Bradshaw reached the quarter-finals before falling to American James Cerretani and Phillip Marx of Germany.

Pippa Horn, Norfolk's 18 and Under National Champion, competed in the wild card play-off event but fell in the second round to Francesca Stephenson in three sets. Horn, still only 15, will hope for a wildcard into the junior event instead.

• Amy Partridge reached the quarter finals of the AEGON British Tour event in Sheffield last week, eventually falling to 7th seed Elisha Handle 6-4, 6-2.

Partridge, a member of the 18 and under and Senior Norfolk sides, picked up a pair of wins en route to the quarters at the Hallamshire Tennis and Squash Club.

A 6-4, 6-2, opening round win over qualifier Emily Williams was backed up by an impressive defeat of 3rd seed Catherine Fall in the second round. Partridge's conqueror Handle went on to lose in the final to 2nd seed and world number 1008 Samantha Vickers.

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