Norfolk’s Richard Bloomfield wins $15k Futures tennis event in Croatia
Richard Bloomfield's recent run of form continued to gather pace last week as the Norfolk professional won a $15k Futures event in Croatia, following his final appearance the week previously.
The result is the highest level of tournament that the 28-year-old from Alpington has won since 2007 when he was ranked inside the world's top 200.
A 6-4 6-2 win over Croatia's seventh seed Toni Androic in the final earned Bloomfield 27 rankings points which will most likely improve his ranking to 370 on the ATP rankings list.
Arguably the toughest match of the week for Bloomfield came in the opening round against compatriot Alex Ward, who was the only player to take a set off the Norfolk man in the entire tournament.
Bloomfield led by a set before sixth seed Ward levelled to force a decider. The final set was one-way traffic and Bloomfield stormed into the next round 6-4 5-7 6-1.
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A comfortable win against Croatian wildcard Borna Coric set up a quarter final clash with Serbia's Ivan Bjelica; a match which needed a pair of tiebreaks to separate the players.
Bloomfield played two excellent tiebreaks and moved into the semi-final to face Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, who ousted Bloomfield's conqueror from the previous week, Marek Michalicka.
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A strong first set from the Norfolk number one was enough as Fucsovics retired injured at 6-2.
Bloomfield's final opponent, Androic, had dispatched top seed Mirza Basic in straight sets and his semi-final had lasted just five points before Jan Minar retired.
Strong serving from the British number 12 was the order of the day and the 20-year-old Croatian had no real answer as the match took its course.
After a slow start to the year, Bloomfield has won 13 of his last 14 matches which has seen him also win a British Tour event in Sheffield.
• Norfolk's Under-18 boys made some final preparations for next weekend's county cup in Sheffield with a 6-3 victory in a friendly against Culford School.
Harry Weeds, Tom Hunter and Alex Havercroft provided impressive singles wins to leave the match all square with three doubles rubbers remaining.
The squad had worked hard on doubles in training and it paid off as they swept all 3 doubles rubbers to seal the match 6-3.
Team captains Stuart Silvester and Stuart Hunter were delighted with the doubles performance ahead of a challenging Group 5B in Sheffield with Staffordshire, Northamptonshire and South of Scotland.
Norfolk's girls travel to Cardiff to take on Northumberland, Berkshire and Gloucestershire in Group 4A.